Former State Trooper indicted on sexual assault and criminal impersonation charges

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 46-year-old Jason L. Lanning of Depew was arraigned yesterday afternoon before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller on an indictment charging him with the following:

  • Two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault, Class “A-ii” felonies
  • Two counts of Rape in the First Degree, Class “B” violent felonies
  • One count of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, a Class “B” violent felony
  • One count of Rape in the Third Degree, a Class “E” felony
  • Two counts of Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree, Class “A” misdemeanors

It is alleged that on September 10, 2019, the defendant knowingly and falsely represented himself as a New York State Trooper to gain the trust and personal information from a victim. The defendant, who was terminated from the New York State Police in 2010, was arrested and his case was pending in Elma Town Court.

While the defendant was under investigation for the criminal impersonation incident, three additional victims came forward with allegations against him.

It is alleged that between June 6, 2019 and September 19, 2019, the defendant knowingly and falsely represented himself as a state trooper to gain the trust and personal information from a second victim with whom he was engaged in a personal relationship.

The defendant is accused of forcibly engaging in sexual intercourse with a third victim in the summer of 2016. The victim alleged that the defendant falsely represented himself as a state trooper when she met him through an online dating site.

The defendant is accused of forcibly engaging in sexual intercourse and forcible sexual conduct with a fourth victim in the winter of 2012. The victim also alleged that the defendant falsely represented himself as a state trooper when she met him through an online dating site.

Lanning is scheduled to return on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. for an initial appearance before State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Haendiges who will preside over the case. He was remanded without bail.

Lanning faces a maximum possible sentence of up to life in prison if convicted on all counts.

DA Flynn commends of the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation.

Anyone with additional information about this defendant can contact the Erie County District Attorney’s Office at 716-858-2424 or the New York State Police at 585-344-6200.

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Lynette M. Reda and Assistant District Attorney Stephen C. Earnhart of the DA’s Special Victims Unit.   

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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