District Judge Ross Cioppa -- who hears cases from the boroughs of Rankin, Braddock, Braddock Hills and Swissvale -- is facing criminal charges over allegations of improper sexual contact with women who came before him in court.
The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office announced the charges Wednesday -- two felony counts of bribery in official and political matters, and two misdemeanor counts each of indecent assault and official oppression.
The investigation began in February, and it eventually grew to include a six-week grand jury investigation with witness testimony, Detective Jackelyn Weibel wrote in the affidavit of probable cause.
Defense attorney Phil DiLucente has said that Cioppa denies any type of sexual impropriety.
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Cioppa has been behind the bench in Rankin for more than 10 years. He is the district director of
-- also called the "special courts" -- and sits on the Ethics and Professional Committee.
Cioppa was scheduled to take a mandatory retirement at the end of the year because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is going to eliminate his district in a cost-cutting move.
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