In a case with more twists and turns than a TV detective show, a Pennsylvania police officer pleaded guilty to concealing his wife’s act of sexual assault of a minor and using the crime to blackmail her.
Meanwhile, his wife pleaded guilty to trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband for trying to use the sex case against her.
Robin Transue, 43, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy and also to charges that she tried to hire a hit man to kill her husband, according to Easton, Pennsylvania’s Express-Times newspaper.
The woman faces up to thirty years in jail and a $50,000 fine on two felony charges of aggravated assault and statutory sexual assault.
Her husband, 43-year-old Keith Transue, also pleaded guilty to criminal coercion in the case and could face up to two years in jail and a fine of $5,000. He was a Bushkill Township police officer until he resigned this week.
The case arrived in the laps of the authorities when Robin Transue tried to hire a friend, Richard Warner, to kill her police officer husband.
According to his testimony, Warner said that Mrs. Transue schemed to kill her husband in a hunting accident, plotted a house fire, and even dreamed up the idea of giving him dangerous medications to cause a heart attack.
“Mrs. Transue freely talked about arranging for her husband’s murder,” District Attorney Michael Mancuso said in a statement. “All kinds of potential death scenarios were discussed.”
Warner had contacted authorities about the schemes and was fitted with a wire to record Transue’s plotting.
The death threats came after Keith Transue discovered that his wife had been engaged in sex acts with a 14-year-old boy in 2010. Instead of reporting the crime, as a police officer is duty-bound to do, Transue used his wife’s crime as leverage in their relationship.
Prosecutors said that Transue bragged about the leverage he had on his wife.
“He would later tell a fellow officer that he had dirt on his wife that he would use if she tried to leave him,” the district attorney’s office said.
Mancuso also said the case would not have been possible without informant Warner.
“We would commend the efforts of Mr. Warner whose cooperation with authorities likely prevented a homicide and also brought to light a sordid history of sexual assault and criminal coercion,” Mancuso said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.