Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier heading to an active scene / submitted photo

Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier has sent a letter to the Aliquippa Police Department notifying them his office will refuse to prosecute any criminal case Officer Kenneth Watkins files against a defendant or any case in which he appears as a witness. Lozier went on to notify Aliquippa Police that his office intends to drop all active criminal cases in which Watkins filed charges.

The letter by Lozier effectively prevents Watkins from serving as a law enforcement officer.

The move by Lozier comes after a preliminary hearing on Tuesday for Aliquippa Assistant Police Chief Joseph Perciavalle, in which Watkins refused to testify as a witness. Watkins invoked his Fifth Amendent right against self-incrimination, telling a Beaver County magisterial district judge that he believed county detectives intended to retaliate against him.

Perciavalle has been on paid leave from the Aliquippa Police Department since June when detectives filed felony charges against him for texting an explicit video to Lauren Watkins, the then-17 year-old daughter of Aliquippa Police Sgt. Ken Watkins. His arrest came just two days after he was named Aliquippa’s acting police chief on June 6.

Ken Watkins previously told BeaverCountian.com that county detectives informed him he would be arrested on felony charges of failing to report that his daughter had received the message from Perciavalle unless he cooperated in his prosecution. Both Ken and his wife Stephanie are considered “mandatory reporters” under state law in their official capacities, with Ken being a police officer and Stephanie serving as a agent with the Pennsylvania Inspector General’s Office.

During the preliminary hearing, Lauren Watkins testified that she was sent the offending video by Perciavalle by accident when mistakenly included on a group text message. Lauren, who is now 18 years of age, went on to tell the judge that she was not a victim and did not want Perciavalle prosecuted. She has said she was threatened by county detectives and coerced into writing a statement.

Felony charges against Perciavalle of distributing the materials to Lauren were dismissed by District Judge Howe, although a remaining misdemeanor charge of corruption of a minor was held for trial.

Perciavalle claims he is being targeted and retaliated against by county detectives and Lozier after turning over a box of evidence of alleged corruption in the Aliquippa Police Department and City.

BeaverCountian.com has obtained a copy of District Attorney Lozier’s letter from a confidential journalistic source, and is publishing it below in full.

District Attorney David Lozier’s Letter To Aliquippa Police:

December 5th, 2018

Chief Rob Sealock
Aliquippa Police
300 Franklin Avenue
Aliquippa, PA 15001

Dear Chief Sealock:

As you are probably already aware Sgt. Watkins refused to testify as a witness of the Commonwealth at the preliminary hearing in the cases of Commonwealth v. Perciavalle held on December 4, 2018. He was the recipient of a group text/multi-media message which included explicit sexual material. He was aware that his minor daughter was also a recipient of the group message. The message was sent to a minor in violation of the criminal code. Sgt. Watkins had already provided a written statement and interview regarding the facts he was being questioned about.

Sgt. Watkins was called to testify to these facts during the preliminary hearing. When asked on the witness stand to confirm that he received the offending text message, he refused to answer the question and invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Pursuant to United States v. Giglio, 405 U.s. 150 (1972), the Supreme Court of the United States requires that this invocation of the right against self-incrimination by Sgt. Watkins must be disclosed as mandatory discovery in any case in which Sgt. Watkins files or is a witness to, as this is now considered to be “exculpatory” information favoring any defendant in any future case. Because of this, the Commonwealth can no longer place Sgt. Watkins on the witness stand in any criminal matter, either as an affiant, or supporting witness. By invoking the right against self-incrimination and by refusing to cooperate with the Commonwealth, Sgt. Watkins now brings into question his own credibility in this and in every criminal case. If he cannot be called to testify in a jury trial, I cannot build any case upon his testimony in pre-trial procedures.

As a result, the Commonwealth must dismiss any and all active cases in which Sgt. Watkins is the affiant.

Please review the following active cases to determine if there is another officer who may replace Sgt. Watkins as the filing officer or as a witness.

C/W vs. Vincent Gagric MJ-36304-CR-351-2018 PH set for Dec. 10
C/W vs. Richard D. Lowe MJ-36304-CR-325-2018 PH set for Dec. 17
C/W vs. Vanessa D. Mills MJ-36304-CR-87-2018 PH set for Jan. 28
C/W vs. Brandon Owens MJ-36304-CR-352-2018 Unknown PH Date
C/W vs. Brandon Owens MJ-36304-CR-381-2018 PH set for Dec. 31
C/W vs. Howard D. Solomon MJ-36304-CR-373-2018 PH set for Dec. 31

Please contact First Assistant District Attorney, Jennifer Popovich, to coordinate action on these cases or any other cases in which Sgt. Watkins may be an affiant or witness.

Very Truly Yours,
David J. Lozier
Beaver County District Attorney

See Also:

Investigative Report: Aliquippa Officer Claims DA Lozier’s Office Retaliated After He Provided Evidence Of Corruption

DA Lozier Denied Having Secret Meeting Inside Republican Headquarters With Aliquippa Assistant Police Chief

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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weredareres
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weredareres

I have a question. Since the DA will no longer use Sgt. Watkins as a witness/affiant, why didn’t the previous DA do the same for former sheriff George David? David pled the fifth also. Beaver County is so crooked. Nothing will fix the mess.

FUBAR
Guest
FUBAR

So let me get this straight…Watkins used his Constitutional RIGHT to plead the 5th, but Loser black balls him for using his Constitutional RIGHT as a citizen in this case. If Loser wins re-election, there is something very wrong in Beaver County.

Disgusted
Member
Disgusted

I do believe the Wayne Cordes case was Watkins arrest. How’d that turn out for you and your super Dicks Mr Lozier??

Unbungabelievable
Guest
Unbungabelievable

Ask the super dicks about the lie detector test – one of the non relevant questions they asked him was if he committed the assault he was accused of. He answered NO because he was not guilty of that. #hepassedtheliedetectortest. They already knew he was not guilty after listening to his conversations. Watkins is a dirty dirty cop. He also threatened the only 2 “witnesses” he bothered to call. His neighbor prostitute and her boyfriend. The boyfriend changed his testimony even when the DA THREATENED him. Too bad no one cares about the truth. It is not rocket science to put it all together. That’s all I will say as I do not want myself or my family to end up dead. I just happen to have the whole story but will take it to my grave. Too bad people are so gullible

Gerald Benyo
Member
Gerald Benyo

Mr. Lozier does not understand Chief Justice Burger’s primary holding in United States v. Giglio. This case simply holds that the Brady Rule requires disclosure by the government of any agreement between the prosecution and its witness that the witness will not be prosecuted or will be given favorable treatment at sentencing if they cooperate as a government witness. In determining credibility, jurors must be provided with information as to any inducements to testify made by the government to its witnesses.

Mr. Watkins has every right to invoke his Constitutional Rights – especially after county detectives threaten his entire family with prosecution if they dont cooperate with Mr. Lozier and provide the testimony they want regardless of the truth.

Who will be the next person charged? Great way to silence any police or F.O.P. criticism of the District Attorney. Beware F.O.P. members, if you irritate me and dont do what I say I will write to your Chief and advise him I will not accept any cases filed by you and your career in law enforcement in Beaver County will be over.

Congradulations to the 5 individuals who just got a get out of jail free card from Mr. Lozier. They join Mr. Cordes in the pantheon of criminal heroes who escape facing justice due to Mr. Lozier’s decisions.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Can the district attorney legally choose not to prosecute someone’s cases just because of his ien personal bias, isn’t that illegal didn’t he take an oath? It’s obviously coming to light publicly how he’s threatening even members of area Department of Law Enforcement. Could c-loc complain to a higher policing force of the DA’s Antics something needs to be done with the way this guy in power is acting in his positon. I don’t know much about law but one would think that this is unethical and or illegal. I don’t know who or what needs to contact the State Attorney General to see if ethics have been violated. We have officers and their family members saying that they are being threatened by the District Attorney’s detectives this is being said publicly, all the while the district attorney is refusing and saying publicly he will not prosecute any more cases by this officer. This seems like newsworthy stuff by the local news channels if not something that should be brought up to the State Attorney General.

BeaverNewbie
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BeaverNewbie

I think the 5 “get out of jail free cards” is what is really behind this. Dig deeper.

Johnny Esq
Guest
Johnny Esq

However if you readfurther into Giglio/Brady the actions by the DA may stand. Police officers testifying as Government witnesses always seem to get into grey areas. On the other hand Giglio talks about false testifying and not necessarily pleading. In any case Mr Watkins involvement seems to be on the verge of unethical or just very shady. As far as corruption, it takes a lot for any fed or state agency to initiate an investigation. Actions may seem “not right” in the public’s eyes but sometimes they’re just not use to things being handled certain ways. This DA is totally different than those in the past in the way he interacts with cases.

Unbungabelievable
Guest
Unbungabelievable

Shame on you. There really is not a moral attorney in BC even. I thought you were different. I realized how wrong I was. You as well know Cordes was not guilty of what Watkins charged him with. Disgraceful.

Disgusted
Member
Disgusted

Any comments Deewan…??? R u still there??