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A Philadelphia judge last week denied Officer Michael A. Paige’s request for payment from the city for his legal bills stemming from an alleged sexual assault.

On June 9, Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline F. Allen said city taxpayers shouldn’t be required to pay Paige’s legal expenses, amounting to $189,991.55.

The fees and costs were incurred by attorney Brian M. Puricelli, who defended Paige against allegations that he sexually assaulted James Harris in 2007. The officer contended he was entitled to the payment under a state law indemnifying municipal workers who incur legal expenses stemming from work-related duties.

But in an 11-page ruling, the judge said Paige’s actions were outside the scope of his work duties, so the city has no obligation to pay his legal bills.

Harris contends that Paige drove him to an isolated area of Fairmount Park, where the officer forced him to perform oral sex and digitally penetrated his anus.

In her ruling, Allen acknowledged that another Philadelphia judge cleared Paige of any criminal wrongdoing in 2008, but also noted that a federal jury determined that Paige violated Harris’ bodily integrity and awarded him $165,000 in damages.

“[Paige’s] alleged conduct is far outside the scope of duties of a police officer,” Allen wrote. “Paige was in uniform, on duty and in his patrol car in the area assigned to him when he encountered Harris. Although Paige’s sexual conduct occurred completely within the time and space limits established by his employment, the sexual conduct is far from the kind Paige is employed to perform.”

She said Paige was acting for selfish motives, not as a public servant.

“Paige’s actions were effectuated only by personal desire for sexual gratification,” she wrote. “Paige’s alleged actions were not motivated in any part by a desire to serve the Philadelphia Police Department or accomplish its purposes.”

In court papers, Paige insisted he was providing a valid service to Harris during their 2007 encounter. The officer said Harris was in Fairmount Park after hours partially clothed, and he took the young man aside to counsel him.

City attorney Sean Kirby expressed agreement with Allen’s ruling.

“We believe that the judge ruled correctly,” he told PGN.

Paige was dismissed from the police force after his encounter with Harris. But an arbitrator ordered him reinstated, and the city didn’t appeal.

Puricelli couldn’t be reached for comment.