This article contains details about alleged sexual abuse
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (WHTM) – Five additional members of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Pennsylvania face multiple charges for alleged child sexual abuse.
Pennsylvania Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry announced the arrest, criminal responsibility Dissenting from the man, he said some of the cases involved families who were under either direct care or guardianship of the child.
The five recently indicted men are reported to be between the ages of 42 and 74 and the victims are between the ages of 5 and 15.
Defendant is indicted by the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General for the following crimes:
- Mark BrownA man, 65, of Allegheny County, was accused of sexually abusing a family member of two young women between the ages of 10 and 13, of whom he was the legal guardian. He has been charged with lewd assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and corruption of a minor.
- Raymond SchultzA 74-year-old woman in Beaver County allegedly sexually abused a female member of her family when she was between the ages of 5 and 10. Schultz has been charged with aggravated lewd assault, lewd assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and corruption of a minor.
- Abimael Valentin-MathosA 42-year-old Lancaster County woman is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. He was allegedly “courturing” her to eventually marry despite being twice her age. Matos has been charged with lewd assault, lewd exposure, endangering the welfare of a child, and corruption of a minor.
- Kevin IsovichA 51-year-old woman from Butler County is accused of sexually assaulting a family member of a 9-year-old woman. Isovitsch has been charged with rape, aggravated lewd assault, lewd assault, child welfare endangerment, and corruption of a minor.
- Norman AvilesA 44-year-old from Lancaster County is accused of sexually abusing at least three young children between the ages of 5 and 10. Because Avilés was a congregational elder, he gained the trust of many parents and was able to interact with his children. Aviles has been charged with aggravated lewd assault, lewd assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and corruption of a minor.
“It is my solemn pledge that I am here to help survivors,” Deputy AG Henry said.
According to the 49th Annual Statewide Investigative Grand Jury Report, alleged abuse by Valentín Matos was reported to elders after the survivor persuaded him to engage in sexual activity.
Aviles was reported by a grand jury report to be a member of the “East” and “West” Spanish-speaking congregations of Lancaster and an elder of the “East” congregation of Lancaster.
Lancaster City Police reportedly investigated the allegations against Aviles in 2010 following a Childline report. Although the grand jury found the Lancaster City Police investigation to be credible and comprehensive, the matter was closed in part because of the lack of further investigation the grand jury obtained.
The charges announced Tuesday are a continuation of an investigation that previously yielded results. Four arrests involving members of Jehovah’s Witnesses announced last year. The attorney general’s office says survivors reached out to their offices after victims provided a hotline to reach out following the first four incidents.
“The details of these crimes are sad and disturbing, and the facts are made even more disgusting by the fact that the defendants used faith communities and their own families to reach out to their victims,” Henry said. “Our office will never stop working to seek justice for those who have been victimized, and will investigate those who have harmed the most vulnerable people in our society, We will continue to prosecute.”
Anyone with information about child sexual abuse is encouraged to report the information to the Office of the Attorney General’s Hotline at 888-538-8541. If you have information about child sexual abuse, please report it to ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
The acting attorney general said it was an ongoing investigation and would not comment on whether the congregation was aware of the alleged abuse.
These cases are being prosecuted by Chief Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones.
https://www.wkbn.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-acting-ag-announces-multiple-child-sex-abuse-arrests-involving-jehovahs-witness-members/ Acting Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry Announces Arrests and Criminal Charges in Multiple Child Sex Abuse Cases