A small-town Pennsylvania police chief and his friend are accused of raping a child over a seven year period starting when the alleged victim was 4 years old.
A statement from Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro confirms the two Lehighton men — Brent Getz, the 27-year-old Chief of the Weissport Police Department, and friend Gregory Wagner, 28 — were arrested Tuesday.
Both are accused of raping the same child hundreds of times over a seven-year period.
Getz and Wagner remain in jail without bond after being charged with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and aggravated indecent assault of a child, among other charges.
Neither defendant has entered pleas to the charges.
The press release states 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 alerted them of the allegation. An investigation ensued but didn’t lead to criminal charges.
“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.”
But then, in August 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.”
According to the statement, “the victim revealed that, consistent with her prior disclosures and examinations, from age 4-11 she was … raped by Wagner. She reported that Getz would also join in these assaults.”
The statement adds: “Additionally, she said that Wagner often made her watch pornography with him, which she recalled depicted teenagers.”
Neither defendant has an attorney of record who could comment on the charges.
Shapiro said in his statement that the allegations are horrifying.
“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.”
The statement says a search of Wagner’s home Tuesday turned up a number of electronic devices, including his cell phone, which was allegedly used to search for child pornography.
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It is not known at this time how the girl knew her alleged attackers.
The statement alleges that “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.”
A call to the Weissport Police Department was not returned by press time.
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.