Bradford County District Chad Michael Salsman wakes up every morning to mounting pressure to voluntarily resign two weeks after Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapio announced a Statewide Grand Jury had indicted Salsman on multiple assault and intimidation charges, after a long investigation into the complaints of five women against the first-term Republican prosecutor.
Shortly after his arrest, Salsman adamantly defended himself, saying he will not resign because he has not committed any crimes. “I will remain as District Attorney and make policy decisions and administer the office,” said Salsman. “The Drug Task Force that I created will continue to work unabated and all the other policies and programs my administration has implemented to benefit Bradford County this past year will continue as well.”
According to the grand jury, five women corroborated information, known only by each other, that Salsman would routinely intimidate, coerce and commit unwanted sexual acts with them on the desk at his private practice in Towanda and then directed them to a small bathroom in his office to clean up using paper towels or cleaning wipes. Salsman told the women to tell no one about what he had done. According to the criminal complaint, the incidents occurred between September 1, 2017, and December 23, 2020.
Almost immediately, community and statewide advocacy groups called Salsnan to immediately resign. A local newspaper added its voice the resign refrain.
Amy Miller, executive director of The Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (ARCC) in Towanda, issued a statement. “There is no place in our communities for sexual violence in any form-especially at the hands of the elected official who swore an oath to uphold the law and hold those who break it accountable. That the majority of these accounts occurred while he was acting as the victims’ defense attorney is especially horrific. We call for his resignation from office.”
“We admire and extend our support to all of the victims who have come forward to share their experiences. It takes an incredible amount of courage for a survivor to come forward, and the level of attention surrounding a high-profile case such as this makes it even more daunting to speak out,” wrote Miller in a statement given to CHOICE 102.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape has filed an official complaint with the disciplinary board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, urging the court to take immediate action to suspend Salsman’s law license and order any other relief the court deems appropriate.
Bradford County Commissioners, were advised by their solicitor Jonathon Foster Jr. to not comment on Salsman’s current situation. The commissioners did agree to remove his security clearance to the county courthouse, which is a standard pactice in these situations, said Foster. Salsman must enter the build through the main entrance, not a side entrance leading to his office. He is permitted in the building because he is still the county’s elected district attorney, who’s out on $300,000 bail.
three separate charges of sexual assault,
five separate charges of indecent assault,
twelve counts of intimidation of a witness or victim,
one count of obstruction of justice and
one count of prostitution.
The Morning Times newspaper published an editorial on February 6 that called for Salsman’s resignation, even amid his presumption of innocence until proven guilty. “The people of Bradford County deserve a district attorney’s office free of salacious controversy and unstoppable whispers of impropriety. Real or perceived, the events of this past week will irreparably handicap the DA’s office for as long as Mr. Salsman remains in his post. The critical effectiveness of our county DA’s office will most certainly be diminished, even debilitated.
“Mr. Salsman should resign as district attorney immediately.”