The mayor of a small Pennsylvania town for some reason is standing by its volunteer fire company’s re-election of a registered sex offender as its fire chief. Chief Roger Gilbert Jr. pleaded guilty in 2001 to sexual intercourse with a 4-year-old girl. So, he raped a little girl but says he’s a changed man now.
Mayor Ann Louise Wagner said that she and firefighters in Spartansburgh are aware that Gilbert, a 43-year-old unpaid volunteer with the department since 2010, is a registered sex offender.
“I support the fire department and their decision to have him as chief,” Wagner told The Corry Journal. “The firemen have always elected their own officers and that’s how it’s always been done. We don’t question their decisions.”
Gilbert told the Journal that his crime happened “20 years ago” and said that he has changed his life for the better and now spends “every day helping people.”
“That was 20 years ago,” Gilbert told the paper. “You know, the story you are telling kids is once you make mistake, you will be punished for the rest of your life. I’ve changed my life for the better. Every day I get up and try to do good.”
The victim’s mother told the newspaper that he should not be in a job where he could interact with children.
Gilbert received a five to 10-year prison sentence for “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse,” which he completed.
Sprantansburgh has a population of about 422 residents. We’re wondering if the mayor and those who support Gilbert would leave their children alone with the registered sex offender. As it happens, pedophiles aren’t the best babysitters.
The fire department’s Facebook page appears to have been made private.
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Image via the Corry Journal.
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