City officer facing a year in jail
JOHNSTOWN – Former city Patrolman Adam Schwabrow has gone from law-enforcement officer to sex offender.
Schwabrow pleaded guilty Tuesday in Fulton County Court to raping a 16-year-old girl in May 2011 and is expected to be sentenced this spring to a year in jail.
He also resigned Tuesday from the city Police Department and will be required by the state to register as a sex offender.
The sentencing of Schwabrow, 32, of 301 S. Perry St., is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 13 at the County Courthouse.
Schwabrow’s attorney, Michael McDermott of Albany, said today Schwabrow “regrets decisions he made” and is remorseful.
“With this letter, I hereby submit my resignation from the Johnstown Police Department as a police officer, effective immediately,” stated a letter dated Tuesday from Schwabrow to Chief Mark Gifford.
Gifford couldn’t be reached this morning for comment.
Schwabrow, a nine-year veteran of the city police force, was a former K-9 handler and president of the Johnstown Police Benevolent Association.
“It’s something hopefully that we’re putting behind us,” Mayor Michael Julius said today of the Schwabrow case.
Schwabrow entered his guilty plea to felony third-degree rape before acting Fulton County Court Judge Peter Feldstein.
In a news release issued Tuesday by Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III, whose office prosecuted the case, he noted Schwabrow was not on duty at the time of the crime and no force was alleged.
“As an adult, he should know better than to have sex with a minor, and that is exactly why the statute is written, to protect young girls,” Murphy said in the news release. “Someone who commits a felony and exercises such horrific judgment should never be a police officer and that is why we insisted on a resignation as part of the felony conviction and jail time. In addition, he will be registered with the New York Sex Offender Registry upon his release from jail.”
Saratoga County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Buckley, who prosecuted the case, also issued a statement.
“The victim was fully cooperative in the prosecution and is relieved this part of her life is over,” Buckley said. “She is satisfied that he [pleaded] guilty to a felony and has resigned as a police officer. “
Defense attorney McDermott said Schwabrow has been remorseful and stands ready to take his punishment.
“He regrets decisions he made,” McDermott said. “He regrets any harm he did. He takes full responsibility for his actions.”
McDermott said his client has no fear of being an ex-police officer incarcerated among criminals.
“He’s confident he will serve his time and move on with it,” he said.
Schwabrow was charged Sept. 19 by his own department with felony third-degree rape, commonly known as statutory rape.
He could have faced 1 1/3 to four years in state prison for the charge. Schwabrow had been free on $5,000 cash bail.
Schwabrow was suspended with pay after his arrest.
Schwabrow had also served as director of the Montgomery County Emergency Management Office, but the county replaced him after his arrest.
Gifford previously said Schwabrow was arrested after an investigation uncovered evidence he had sexual contact with the girl.
Murphy said last fall the victim “was known to the defendant” and that Schwabrow didn’t attack the victim.
He also said his office was investigating whether Schwabrow pulled his police firearm while fellow officers were trying to arrest him in September at the station. Schwabrow was never charged with a crime related to that alleged incident.
Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said after the arrest the alleged rape took place in the city of Johnstown. She said there has been no allegation or evidence of forced sexual contact between Schwabrow and the victim.
She said forced sexual contact typically falls under the category of first-degree rape, which was not alleged in this case.
She said people younger than 17 in New York state cannot legally consent to sexual contact with an adult.
Sira on Tuesday said in a prepared statement, “Officer Schwabrow resigned his position with the Johnstown Police Department effective today at 1 p.m. as part of the plea agreement entered into with the Saratoga County DA’s office. Schwabrow was previously ordered to surrender any firearms at the time of arrest, which occurred on September 19, 2013, including his duty revolver and other personal firearms. The DA’s office was not provided a list of the firearms, but they were surrendered to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department.”
Sira added, “In addition, at the time of sentencing, Schwabrow is expected to receive one year in the Fulton County Jail together with appropriate fines and surcharges.”
Michael Anich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.