Jilted women told stories to investigators
Mike Bucsko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 20
To hear women inmates tell it, suspended Allegheny County Jail guard LeShawn Walker was having sex with half the women in the lockup and jilted most of them.
Two of the jilted lovers testified yesterday against Walker during his preliminary hearing on a first set of sexual assault charges filed against him last month. Walker, 31, of Duquesne, was charged again Wednesday with three additional counts involving his sexual contact with female inmates as part of an ongoing investigation by District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.’s office.
Ten guards in all have been charged so far. The women who testified yesterday before Brookline District Justice Charles McLaughlin are two of the main witnesses in the case. McLaughlin ordered Walker held for trial in Common Pleas Court.
Both women testified they talked to investigators after they learned Walker was having sex with other inmates and because he failed to contact them after they were released from jail.
One of the inmates, a self-described bisexual heroin addict, testified she had a long-term relationship with Walker and another guard, John Pastor, 53, of Elizabeth Township, the former president of the Allegheny County Prison Employees Independent Union.
The Post-Gazette does not identify victims of sexual crimes.
Wendy Williams, Walker’s defense attorney, said after the hearing that the women were “lying” on the witness stand and cooperated with prosecutors only after they were caught in criminal activity in exchange for undisclosed favors.
“I’m sure that if I had a get-out-of-jail-free card, I could get these girls to say they had sex with Mr. Walker, too,” Williams said.
Walker is “innocent and he’s anxious to assert his innocence,” Williams said. Walker declined comment.
Deputy District Attorney Diane Berman, who directed the grand jury investigation that resulted in the charges against the guards, declined to respond to Williams’ allegation.
“We prefer to try our case in court,” she said.
The first woman who testified said she first met Walker about a year ago, when she was sent to jail on a variety of charges, including receiving stolen property, forgery and car theft. Walker began to flirt with her shortly after she arrived on Pod 4F, telling her she had a “phat butt” and speaking with her over the intercom in her cell, she said.
Within a short period of time, perhaps a month, Walker and the inmate had kissed before they had sexual intercourse on a toilet in the guards’ rest room, she testified. Afterward, Walker professed his affection and told the woman to keep the intimacy to herself. But Walker caused a problem for himself with his actions later, she said.
“He said, ‘We can’t let anyone find out about this. Not even your cell mate,’” she testified. “Then he started moving in on my cell mate.”
Walker’s activities with the woman’s cell mate, as well as with other women, soured the inmate on him, and she refused to have sex with him again, she testified. She told investigators about the sexual event a few months after she was arrested in a district justice’s office with tobacco and marijuana she planned to sneak into the jail.
The second inmate who testified yesterday said she just told investigators earlier this month about her sexual relationship with Walker, though the relationship began in 1996 when she first met him. The disclosure occurred after she was arrested on a warrant for her November escape from a halfway house in the Hill District.
The inmate, who wore her orange county jail jumpsuit to the hearing, testified that she was in love with Walker and had intercourse with him at least 10 times over the years and oral sex at least 20 times. She also testified she suspected he gave her a venereal disease a few years ago.
“I was in love with him, and I thought he loved me, too,” she testified.
When Walker failed to contact the inmate after she was released from jail to the halfway house in August, she was upset and hurt, she testified. But she was reluctant to tell investigators about their relationship and lied to the grand jury in October, she testified.
“I didn’t want to get him in trouble because I was in love with him,” she said.
However, the inmate told investigators about the relationship after her most recent arrest Feb. 8.
The female inmate also had a long relationship with Pastor, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed last month. Pastor is charged with one count of institutional sexual assault for having sex with the inmate in a jail supply closet, but the affidavit also accuses him of supplying her with Percocet, Vicodin, heroin and $2,110 while she was in the county jail and at the State Correctional Institution Cambridge Springs.
In addition to Walker and Pastor, also charged are guards Joseph Addison, 54; Roy Baldinger, 38; George DiDomenicus, 51; Darrell Hill, 49; Charles Miller, 33; Donald Stupka, 45; Regis Veatch, 47; and William Woznichak, 38.