PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Resigned Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Johns was back in court Friday after the District Attorney’s Office re-filed charges against him almost a year later.
The most serious accusation is that Johns was promoting prostitution.
However, his attorney said the evidence isn’t there.
“We heard a lot of evidence this morning. It’s important to remember, this is just a preliminary hearing. All the Commonwealth has to show is that there is a basis to suspect that he had something to do with these charges,” defense attorney Marc Daffner said.
The prosecution had testimony from several detectives, attempting to prove a relationship between Johns and an alleged prostitute.
They also pointed to records showing Johns’ credit card was used to pay for several solicitation ads online.
There was also a recording played in court from Aug. 27, 2011, when detectives wired two alleged prostitutes. Johns allegedly picked them up in a taxi and drove them to buy heroin.
“As in this case, as in every case, it’s important to remember, guilt by association is not enough. That’s the law,” Daffner said.
The prosecution alleges that Johns was using rental cars to drive the prostitutes to locations and that he had a sexual relationship with one in particular.
They also claim Johns had lied to police during the course of the investigation. After initial charges were filed, Johns resigned from the Pittsburgh Police Department to focus on the trial.
“He is looking for employment, he is looking at school. He hopes to put this behind him and potentially even move out of state,” Daffner said.
The District Attorney’s Office added additional charges Friday morning and the judge held all charges for court.
Johns is due back in court for formal arraignment on Aug. 31.