Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Old Forge Police Chief, Captain, Fireman Caught Up in Sex Scandal

Disturbing progress has been made in an underage sexual assault probe in Old Forge, Lackawanna County. State police have now arrested the Chief of the Old Forge Police, Larry Semenza, 48, for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in the years 2004 to 2007, reports the Times-Tribune. The girl, now 23, was a former junior firefighter.

Earlier this month, they also arrested Police Captain Jamie Krenitsky, 34, and former volunteer firefighter Walter Chiavacci, 46, on allegations of inappropriate touching back in 2004 and 2005. According to the Tribune, the two police officers have been suspended without pay, pending the results of the investigation.

Chiavacci has been charged with felony aggravated indecent assault, and misdemeanor counts of corruption of minors and indecent assault. There is no report yet on which exact charges have been filed against the Police Chief and Captain.

Felony aggravated indecent assault is defined as, "penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of a complainant with a part of the person's body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures commits aggravated indecent assault if ... the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other."

The penalty, on that second degree felony charge alone, is a fine of between $5,000 and $25,000 and imprisonment of up to ten years. If the other misdemeanor charges stem from the exact same incident and require proof of the same elements, Chiavacci cannot be convicted of both due to double jeopardy rules.

For example, felony aggravated indecent assault and misdemeanor indecent assault are likely to overlap too much to allow for conviction on both charges, unless there were two separate incidents.

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