Police chief, friend charged with raping child over 7 years
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A small Pennsylvania town police chief and his friend were charged with raping a child over a seven-year period when they were teenagers starting when the girl was 4 years old, state prosecutors said Wednesday.
Brent Getz, 27, was arrested and charged Tuesday along with Gregory Wagner, 28. The alleged victim said both men sexually assaulted her, often at the same time, from 2005 to 2012.
The investigation began in 2012 when the child, who was 12 at the time, reported Wagner had been assaulting her, prosecutors said. No charges were filed following an investigation.
Three years later, a criminal complaint was prepared charging Wagner but it was dismissed due to a paperwork error. Charges were never refiled.
In August, a police officer revisited the case. It was then the victim said Getz also sexually abused her. Getz became chief of police earlier this year in Weissport, a town of 412 people in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, about 75 miles (121 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia.
It is unknown whether council members who appointed Getz knew of the allegations. A message was left with a phone number found for Paulette Watson, the mayor of Weissport.
Wagner admitted he and Getz sexually abused the girl together, prosecutors said. Attorney information for either man could not be found in court documents. Both men remain jailed. Messages could not be left with phone numbers found for Getz and Wagner.
The victim said she was sexually assaulted hundreds of times between the ages of 4 and 11, both by Wagner and Getz. She said Wagner made her watch pornography with him. The attorney general’s office did not disclose how the men knew the child.
Authorities found many electronic devices at Wagner’s home, including his cellphone, which had Google searches of terms related to child pornography, prosecutors said.
Both Getz and Wagner were arraigned on charges. The men are scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing April 3.
This story has been corrected to show the men were charged Tuesday, not Wednesday.