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Victims' advocates offer advice after attorney is charged with crimes in Lackawanna County

State police allege the lawyer took advantage of vulnerable women, offering legal representation and money in exchange for sexual favors.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Attorney Corey Kolcharno has been practicing law in Lackawanna County since earning his law degree in 2001, trying cases at the county courthouse.

Now, he's faced with a slew of charges following a series of allegations by former clients. They allege he used his power to get what he wanted.  

Kolcharno served as Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney from 2005 to 2011 before opening a law firm in Blakely that bears his name. 

State police accuse Kolcharno of manipulating four female clients into sharing explicit photos and engaging in sexual encounters, alleging he offered legal services and money in return. 

The accusations span four years, from 2018 to early this year. Investigators said Kolcharno's alleged victims were vulnerable, some struggling with addiction, sexual abuse, and legal issues.

"When a woman is still already in trouble with whatever is going on and needs assistance, I'm sure there was a feeling of 'Oh, my gosh, what am I going to do?'' said Michele Minor Wolfe, executive director of Victims' Intervention Program, or VIP, in Wayne County. "This person just took total advantage of that situation."

Minor Wolfe said exploitation happens too often, and the activity rarely sees the light of day.

"Ethically and legally, they should be providing the service by law and not trying to make special deals on the side that's benefiting them and hurting somebody else," she said. "Too many times when there's a power and control dynamic like that, people can be hurt."

State police said Kolcharno followed a similar pattern with each of the four clients, first complimenting their appearance and later requesting lewd photographs. Authorities said a search of his phone revealed hundreds of explicit photos of clients. The women allege he'd then ask for sexual favors, offering discounts on legal fees or payment, often through a money transfer app. 

Court documents show one victim told investigators that Kolcharno "proposed a 'business transaction,' inquiring if she wanted to make a quick 200 dollars." 

Kolcharno faces felony charges of promoting prostitution. 

His lawyer released a statement on his behalf, saying Kolcharno is "accepting responsibility" and hopes to "move his life forward in a positive fashion."

Minor Wolfe said the alleged victims showed courage coming forward. 

"I have to commend these women for speaking forward, all of them. They don't even know each other, according to the affidavit," she said. "The fact that they did speak up is huge, and I hope that it will help anybody else that may have fallen victim to his situation."

Corey Kolcharno was arraigned at Central Court in Scranton but gave up his right to a preliminary hearing. He was released without having to post bail. No other court dates have been set. 

If you or a loved one are facing abuse or exploitation, the Victims' Intervention Program can help at any time. You can reach VIP at 570-273-4401. 

In Lackawanna County, call the Women's Resource Center at 1-800-257-5765.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 800-799-7233.

See news happening? Text our Newstip Hotline.   

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