Lower Paxton Township, Pa. – Former Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney Chris Dreisbach waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday morning on charges including aggravated assault on a police officer, indecent assault, and unlawful restraint.
Dreisbach was arrested back in August after an altercation at his Lower Paxton Township home.
Police were called to the home Dreisbach, 32, shares with his wife for reports he struck a female public defender, grabbed her in a sexual manner, and would not let her leave.
When police encountered Dreisbach they said he pushed a police officer and punched an EMT in the head. Once at the hospital, police said the prosecutor kicked an elderly patient in the face. He was fired after his arrest.
Dreisbach doesn't deny any of it, according to his lawyer. "He's disgusted, he's ashamed, he's embarrassed," attorney Brian Perry said.
Perry said his client went to a treatment program in Maryland following his arrest. He is now back in Pennsylvania and willing to share his side of the story.
On the day of the incidents, Perry said Dreisbach took the day off work and was "texting people to come over and have a happy hour." Perry said the public defender came over later after everyone else had left.
"It was not an affair," Perry said. "He was not cheating on his wife."
Perry said Dreisbach is bipolar and was in the middle of a trial week in Dauphin County court. He believes his client had not slept in four days.
On the day in question, Perry said Dreisbach took Effexor XR for his bipolar disorder, Wellbutrin for depression, twice the dosage of the prescription sleep aid Ambien, one and a half bottles of Nyquil, and a half-box of wine. He said his client knows he is lucky to be alive.
"There's no question that he blacked out and there's no question it explains why a normally mild mannered guy becomes a rabid animal," Perry said.
Perry said Dreisbach cannot remember what happened that afternoon.
"You will never hear my whining and trying to excuse his conduct, nor will you hear that from Chris Dreisbach," Perry said. "But again, what happened is a combination of the perfect storm and it explains why it happened. It doesn't excuse it, but it explains it."
Perry said Dreisbach "feels so bad" about what happened and is grateful to his wife and former colleagues for their support. He said Dreisbach feels "most remorseful" for the alleged sexual misconduct with the public defender.
Perry said he is trying to work out a plea deal with the Attorney General's office to avoid a felony conviction. He said Dreisbach is voluntarily surrendering his license to practice law. He hopes to have that license reinstated in the future.
Kevin Harley, a spokesperson for the attorney general's office, said he couldn't discuss a possible plea deal. He did say his office was prepared to take the case to trial.
Dreisbach could face jail time if convicted of all the charges against him.
Perry described that August afternoon as the "antithesis" of everything Chris Dresbach stood for. "All he wants to do is thank people for their support and say how sorry he is to everyone involved," Perry said.