Sunday, December 10, 2023

Schuylkill Township Police Officer Faces Charges for Misusing Law Enforcement Database

A Schuylkill Township police officer, 49-year-old Jason S. Lex, is facing charges for allegedly misusing the Pennsylvania Justice Network (JNET) computer system. 

The case came to light when Police Chief Frank DiMarco reported the incident to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General on August 8, 2023.

The incident in question occurred on May 17, 2023, when Officer Lex, on duty for the Schuylkill Township Police Department, went to the residence of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend in Minersville. Lex, wearing his police uniform, confronted his ex-girlfriend and engaged in a conversation with her. The Minersville Police Department was called to the scene, but no charges were initially filed.

Concerns arose when the boyfriend questioned how Lex had obtained his address. Minersville Police Officer Timothy Walsh initiated an investigation, discovering that Lex had used JNET to query the boyfriend and another friend of the ex-girlfriend. Further inquiries revealed that Officer Lex had no work-related reasons to search for their names.

On August 29, 2023, Special Agents Phillip Holbrook and Ralph Zezza of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General interviewed Chief DiMarco, confirming that Lex was on duty on the night of the incident, but his records showed no calls or traffic stops related to the individuals involved.

The investigation continued with interviews of the ex-girlfriend and the boyfriend, revealing that Lex had sent a text with a picture of her car near the boyfriend's apartment. The boyfriend, who received a Facebook friend request from Lex earlier that day, suspected that Lex might have used his police position to obtain his address.

On September 21, 2023, Officer Timothy Walsh of the Minersville Police Department confirmed Lex's actions during the incident, prompting further investigation. On September 25, 2023, Agents Holbrook and Orozco interviewed Officer Lex, who admitted to using JNET for personal reasons, seeking information about the ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend and another friend.

As a result of the investigation, on December 7, 2023, the Pennsylvania State Office of the Attorney General filed charges against Officer Jason Lex. He faces two counts of unlawful use of a computer and one count of official oppression. Lex was arraigned on the same day before Magisterial District Judge Dave Plachko and released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

Jason Lex is scheduled to answer the charges on January 30, 2024, before Judge Plachko.