SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A defense attorney targeted vulnerable clients and pressured them into having sex in exchange for legal work, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office said Monday.
Corey J. Kolcharno is charged with four counts of promoting prostitution after an investigation found he sexually exploited clients, tethering “his performance as their counsel to a demand for sexual services from them or in exchange for payment,” police wrote in an affidavit.
Kolcharno — a former Lackawanna County prosecutor — was arraigned Monday and released on $20,000 unsecured bail. A statement issued by his attorney said Kolcharno “has made a conscious decision to accept responsibility.” Kolcharno told reporters he intended to give up his law license.
Get daily news, weather, breaking news and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here
According to state police, Kolcharno targeted women who struggled with addiction, had been sexually abused or had financial problems. At first he requested nude photos or worn underwear, then escalated his predatory behavior into a demand for sex in exchange for legal services, authorities said. He paid his clients as much as $500, police said.
Victims said they were ashamed but felt they had no choice but to give in, authorities said.
Kolcharno “picked these victims because they had limited choices, because he thought they would be easy to silence, and less likely to be believed if they ever came forward,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a written statement.
Investigators said they found hundreds of sexually explicit images of Kolcharno’s clients on his cellphone.
Police said the crimes took place between 2018 and 2022, when Kolcharno was a partner in the Fanucci & Kolcharno law firm outside Scranton.
Before reentering private practice, Kolcharno was an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County from 2005-2011.