In October 2019, former Philadelphia police inspector, Carl W. Holmes Jr. was charged with sexual assault of three female officers. In March 2021, the District Attorney’s Office withdrew the second case, leaving only one before the court.

The withdrawn case involved the sexual assault charged alleged by Christa Hayburn. Gregory Pagano, Holmes’s attorney, said Hayburn’s credibility was questionable. In a Zoom court hearing, Hayburn stated she did not agree with the decision to withdraw her case, and that she was a “willing participant throughout… even though it has been re-traumatizing…”

In hopes to dismiss the case that was filed in September 2020, Pagano argued that Holmes has been the victim of a “witch hunt” and “the allegations in the case have received extensive local press… beginning approximately ten years ago.”1

In March 2020, the case involving former officer Elisa Diaz was withdrawn after she failed to appear in court. They were dismissed by Judge Karen Simmons but refiled the next month by the District Attorney’s Office.

Holmes, a 55-year-old father of two, was accused by the grand jury of sexually assaulting the police officers in 2006-2007. According to the jury, he kissed them, fondled their breasts, and digitally penetrated their vaginas. The allegations are years old and there have been details given by the officers.

The last case is that of Michele Vandegrift. In 2004, Vandegrift joined the police department at the age of 22. In 2006, she noticed that Holmes was acting oddly towards her and making inappropriate comments. During an overnight shift in 2007, Holmes asked Vandegrift to come to his office. According to Vandegrift, he made small talk then made comments on her body, followed by physical contact.

Vandergrift filed a complaint in 2014 stating there had been multiple years of sexual harassment from her colleagues; a lawsuit that Vandergrift filed against the city over Holmes settled for $1.25 million in 2017. 

If you or someone you know has been through sexual assault, contact TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers immediately. Our sexual assault lawyers are trained to get you the best compensation possible for your pain and suffering. Call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to get a free consultation.

1Second case dropped against a former Philly police inspector accused of sexual assault (

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