Pa. Superior Court: No Relief from Perjury Conviction or Sentence for Ex-Police Officer

A former Lancaster city police officer will get no relief from his conviction or sentence regarding a March 2014 arrest and subsequent testimony, a state appeals court has ruled.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Tuesday denied Raymond Corll’s claims that his conviction was against the evidence and his sentence “excessive.”

Corll, 57, was convicted at trial in May 2017 of felony perjury and misdemeanor counts of simple assault, false swearing and official oppression.

The charges regarded a March 2014 arrest in which a man was assaulted, by Corll, and Corll’s testimony of the arrest at the man’s summary trial.

After trial, Corll was sentenced to 7 to 23½ months in prison, plus two years of probation.

He argued in post-sentence motion that:

- President Judge Dennis Reinaker’s sentence was “excessive”;

- His conviction went against the weight of the evidence;

- President Judge Reinaker should have instructed the jury on use of non-deadly force in self-defense situations.

The appeals court denied those arguments in a 24-page opinion, finding:

- The sentence was within the standard range and that all appropriate factors, including a background check, were considered.

- The jury’s decision should not be overturned. The jury was shown video evidence of what Corll testified about, and they heard testimony from the arrested man and a woman he was walking with on the night in question. Also, another police officer’s testimony conflicted with Corll’s version of events.

- Corll offered no evidence that he had to act in self-defense, so President Judge Reinaker was not required to give the use-of-force instruction.

The Lancaster County District Attorney’s office opened an investigation into the matter and eventually turned over the case to the state Attorney General’s Office, which filed charges.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright