The York County Regional Police department has denied any liability for the tragic deaths of two young girls, Gianna and Aaminah Vicosa, who were killed by their father, disgraced Baltimore County police officer Robert Vicosa, after he had tortured and raped their mother, Marisa Vicosa. Last week, a settlement of $3 million was approved by York County Court, which highlighted the police department’s missteps in handling the case, including alleged inaction by its chief, Tim Damon, and one of his lieutenants, Kenneth Schollenberger. The settlement also included an acknowledgement by the police department’s attorney, Gregory Hirtzel, that an agreement had been reached, but that they denied any liability for the tragic consequences of Vicosa’s violent and murderous acts.

The case centered on the police department’s alleged failure to serve Marisa’s estranged husband with an emergency Protection from Abuse Order and execute a search warrant at the family’s Windsor Township home. The police department, however, denied that any act or failure to act caused or contributed to the deaths of the two young girls.

According to court records, Robert Vicosa restrained, drugged, tortured, and raped Marisa over a weeklong ordeal before killing their daughters on November 14, 2020. Vicosa lured Marisa to the family home under the guise of celebrating her birthday with their daughters, who were aged just six and seven. After the girls went to bed, Vicosa and a friend, Tia Bynum, also a Baltimore County police officer, restrained Marisa and forced her to ingest an unknown drug. Vicosa then repeatedly raped her over the course of the night and into the next day.

Marisa was eventually able to convince Vicosa to allow her to leave the house on the afternoon of November 14, ostensibly to return to her mother’s house to fetch clothing and her laptop. However, Vicosa threatened to kill Marisa, her family, and their children if she did not return or seek help from the police. Despite Marisa’s eventual escape and report of the abuse, the police department’s alleged inaction has been criticized by Marisa’s family and supporters.

While the settlement may provide some measure of closure for Marisa’s family, the police department’s denial of liability has been met with disappointment and frustration. The case has raised questions about the responsibility of law enforcement agencies in cases of domestic violence and abuse, and the need for stronger measures to protect victims and prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

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