It’s the kind of story that makes you sick to your stomach.
A small-town Pennsylvania police chief and his friend are behind bars this weekend. They are accused of raping a child over a seven-year period, starting when the child was just 4-years-old.
The Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the two men from Lehighton were arrested Tuesday. They are Brent Getz, the 27-year-old Chief of the Weissport Police Department and 28-year-old friend Gregory Wagner.
They are accused of raping the same child hundreds of times over the course of seven years.
They are being held without bond and are charged with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and aggravated indecent assault of a child, among other charges. Neither has entered a plea to the charges.
According to the press release, the investigation “began in May 2012 when the victim, then 12-years-old, reported to a substitute teacher that Gregory Wagner, then 22-years-old,” had sexually assaulted her.
The teacher went to the Franklin Township Police Department and told them about the allegation. There was an investigation but not a single criminal charge filed.
“In 2015, the case was reassigned and police prepared a criminal complaint charging Wagner with various crimes,” reads the statement. “The complaint was dismissed by the Magisterial District Judge due to a paperwork error. The charges were never refiled.”
Then in August of 2018, “a Franklin Township Police Officer revisited the case and asked the victim to come back in for an interview. At this time, the victim also disclosed that Brent Getz, who was Wagner’s friend, had sexually assaulted her too. Getz is now the Chief of Police in Weissport.”
The statement went on to add:
“Additionally, she said that Wagner often made her watch pornography with him, which she recalled depicted teenagers.”
There was no comment on the charges from their attorney… because neither defendant has one.
In his statement, Shapiro said he was horrified by the allegations.
“The defendants terrorized this young victim by assaulting her hundreds of times over seven years,” he said in the statement. “My office will listen to survivors and prosecute anyone who sexually abuses children to the fullest extent of the law we are able — no matter how much time has passed. I’m grateful for the work of my agents to bring these predators to justice and prevent them from harming anyone else.”
According to the statement, Wagner’s home was searched and police came up with a cell phone and computers that were allegedly used to search for child pornography.
Investigators didn’t say how the girl knew her alleged attackers.
But according to the statement, “Wagner was interviewed and admitted to sexually abusing the victim over the course of several years. He also admitted that Getz sexually abused the victim and that they would do so together.”
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.