A car crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in November 2017 left a 90-year-old woman dead. It also uncovered a web of text messages, sex and drugs that led straight to a Philadelphia police officer.
The officer, 50-year-old Stanley Davis, wasn’t directly involved in the crash on Nov. 16. But Davis was intimately acquainted with 28-year-old Rosie Forsyth, the driver responsible for the single-car wreck. Davis had secretly been giving Forsyth drugs in exchange for sex.
Forsyth’s crash sent her 90-year-old grandmother to the hospital in critical condition, where she died several days later. Forsyth told police she had crashed the Volvo S-60 as she was helping her grandmother get a drink and lost control of the car, CBS Philadelphia reports.
But police noticed “numerous puncture sites” on Forsyth’s arms. “It is my opinion that at the time of the crash, she was under the influence of a drug,” a state trooper wrote in arrest papers, according to the TV station.
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At first, Forsyth denied having done drugs, telling police it had been five days or more since she’d done heroin. Forsyth said she’d taken a dose of methadone about 12 hours before the fatal wreck. Ultimately, though, Forsyth told the truth about her drug habit —and it pointed right to Davis, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Davis was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison on drug distribution charges, according to U.S. Attorney William McSwain. McSwain called Davis’ actions “reprehensible” and “outrageous.”
Davis had met Forsyth and another woman when he was working in coordination with the FBI as a narcotics investigator in the fall of 2016. Davis was stationed in the Kensington neighborhood, an area of the city beset with drug trafficking, prosecutors said. Davis approached the two women and got their phone numbers – theoretically to dig up dirt on drug trafficking activity in the area.
Instead, Davis started sending the women sexual texts, prosecutors said. From there, Davis struck up real-life sexual relationships with both women, giving them crack and heroin in exchange for sex. The encounters happened in New Jersey motels and in Davis’ police car, the Inquirer reports.
It wasn’t just those two women, either. Prosecutors said in court filings that further investigation revealed Davis “was a sexual predator” who had been swapping inappropriate texts “with more women than the FBI agents were able to count.”
Davis pleaded guilty to the drug distribution charges in August 2017, prosecutors said.
“The Kensington area of Philadelphia has long been ravaged by the impact of the drug trade, and Davis served his own agenda by preying on the vulnerability of women struggling with drug use,” McSwain said in a statement.
Davis’ lawyer told the Inquirer that it’s not possible to know whether the drugs that led to Forsyth’s crash were given to her by Davis.
“That is not anything he was responsible for legally or morally. It was just an independent event that was how all this came to light originally,” Jack McMahon, Davis’ attorney, told the newspaper.
Davis didn’t face any charges in connection with the crash. He retired before he was charged, after serving 21 years in the police force, CBS reports.
Davis held his head in his hands and cried during his hour-long court appearance Monday, the Inquirer reports.
“I’m just sorry for my actions and everybody I let down,” Davis said.