Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter
ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) — Aliquippa’s suspended assistant police chief, accused of sending lewd messages to a group of people that included an underage girl, was back in court Tuesday.
It’s a walk Joseph Perciavalle has made dozens of times before. But, this time, the Aliquippa assistant police chief walked into the Beaver County Courthouse accused of a crime.
Perciavalle was arrested back in June for allegedly sending a sexually inappropriate video to a minor.
“He’s pretty upset right now because he wants to go forward and wanted this to be over with, and he wants his job back,” Steven Carl Townsend, Perciavalle’s attorney, said.
But the waiting game continues. Judge Janet Swihart removed herself from the case because she is from Aliquippa, and the hearing was continued.
“If she would’ve tossed out some of these charges, or all these charges, it might have looked like she was in favor of my client,” said Townsend. “If she allowed these charges to be held without sufficient evidence, it may have looked like she was trying to protect prior [former Aliquippa Police Chief Don] Couch.”
The process begins now to find a new judge.
Authorities first learned about the lewd video that Perciavalle allegedly sent to the 17-year-old girl because she is a key figure in the Rachael DelTondo murder case, and is the daughter of an Aliquippa police lieutenant.
Townsend maintains his client did nothing wrong.
“Once we have a hearing, it’s going to be quite clear this is politically-motivated and there’s not substantial evidence to support these allegations,” he said.
Townsend even told reporters the alleged victim did not want to proceed with the charges. He said she will testify that she was coerced into giving a statement, or risked seeing her father arrested.
As to who made the threat?
“That’ll come out in the hearing,” Townsend said.
With DelTondo’s murder looming in the background, Townsend warned the longer this case drags on, the more likely her murder becomes a cold case.