Man accused of sexually assaulting Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Deputy at courthouse after hearing

A Duquesne man sentenced on drug charges Tuesday is behind bars facing additional charges after sheriff’s deputies say he assaulted one of their officers Tuesday after his hearing.

Jerome Felton, 22, is accused of assaulting a female Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Deputy as he was being escorted to a holding cell after a plea and sentencing hearing, where he was sentenced to one to two-and-a-half years behind bars on drug charges.

“If he’s gonna do that to her, what’s he going to do to the next innocent woman who isn’t of authority and he runs into them and tries that again?” asked Becky Rugh, a Westmoreland County resident.

According to the criminal complaint, the female deputy was escorting Felton – who was shackled – to the inmate-designated elevator after his hearing. Once inside the elevator, the deputy told investigators Felton looked at her and said, “If I give you a kiss, it can be our secret”

The deputy told Felton to face the wall and stop talking to her.

The two then got off the elevator, and the deputy walked Felton to the holding cell.

According to court documents, the deputy told Felton to stand to the right of the cell as she unlocked the door – which the sheriff’s office says is standard protocol.

While she was unlocking the door, the deputy said Felton walked behind her and pushed the top part of his torso into her back.

The deputy said Felton grabbed her buttocks and made an explicit comment about his own body.

The deputy then said she pushed him backward away from her and told him not to touch her.

He allegedly moved toward her again and she pushed him back, again, telling him to stay back.

The deputy then was able to open the cell door, where two other deputies removed his restraints and put him in the cell.

She then reported the incident, which deputies say was all seen on security camera.

“I’m appalled by that,” Rugh added. “It’s disgusting, and I’m sorry that happened to her.”

Felton is due back in court to face these charges on April 4.

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