Philadelphia attorneys file sexual assault complaint
Stewart Eisenberg and Nancy Winkler filed a Complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas asserting that former Philadelphia police officer Tyrone Wiggins engaged in a course of repeated sexual assault and violence against Deborah Grooms, beginning when she was a minor and continuing into adulthood, and that he abused his official authority, status, title and position as a police officer. Wiggins is currently incarcerated in the State Correctional Institute at Mahanoy after being sentenced to 17 ½ to 35 years for his crimes against Grooms.
According to the Complaint, Wiggins, a former Marine and martial arts master, gained the trust of Grooms’ family while she was a karate student at one of the City’s recreational centers and then sexually and physically abused her for almost a decade. The Complaint also asserts that Philadelphia Police Department’s top cops failed to properly control, monitor and/or supervise Wiggins’ activities and conduct, failed to properly investigate, discipline and/or discharge Wiggins, and knew or should have known that Wiggins was an abusive and out-of-control cop. When Grooms reported the years of abuse to the police, no one in the police department notified city officials in charge of the Olney Recreational Center during a two-year internal affairs investigation. During the investigation, Wiggins was returned to active duty, given his service weapon, and allowed to continue to teach karate lessons at the City’s recreational center for a period of time after his arrest. Wiggins was also allowed to retire the day before his arrest to save his City pension.
For more on this story please read articles that appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer:
- Victim sues city, police officer imprisoned for sex abuse
- Lawsuit: City could have done more to thwart sex-abusing ex-cop