Chester County D.A. urging other potential victims to come forward
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
A longtime foster parent has been charged with molesting two children, ages 9 and under, in his care, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said Tuesday.
Leroy Mitchell, 60, of West Bradford Township, faces multiple counts of aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, and related offenses, Hogan said.
“We are going to land on this defendant like a ton of bricks,” Hogan said. “Anybody who sexually assaults a child in Chester County will be arrested, prosecuted, and punished as severely as the law permits.”
Mitchell worked at Chester County Prison as a corrections officer for 22 years until the charges surfaced and he was immediately terminated, county officials said. He and his family have housed over 50 foster children over the last few decades, Hogan said.
“This investigation is not over. With dozens of foster children, there are multiple other potential victims out there,” Hogan said. “We are urging anybody with information to report it immediately.”
Hogan said Mitchell was first arrested on Friday for assaulting one 9-year-old girl in his care. As a result of a follow-up investigation, he was charged Tuesday with assaults against a second girl who was between the ages of 7 and 9 when unlawful sexual conduct occurred, Hogan said.
According to the criminal complaint, the assaults against the first victim took place during a swimming outing at the Brandywine Creek and Mitchell’s residence. During an interview with investigators, Mitchell admitted having repeated indecent contact with the girl, the complaint said.
Following the defendant’s initial arrest, Magisterial District Judge John Bailey set the defendant’s bail at $500,000 cash, and he was remanded to the Montgomery County Prison as a precautionary measure, not because any suspected illegal activities took place there, Hogan said.
Hogan said the case was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police and Chester County Detectives. Assistant District Attorney Deborah Ryan of the District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit has been assigned as prosecutor.
“Sexual assault against children is a heinous crime that will not be tolerated,” said Pennsylvania State Police Capt. William White. “The state police and the District Attorney’s Office will devote the necessary resources to ensure any additional victims of this crime are identified, so justice can be served.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Trooper David Brodeur at (610) 486-6280 or Chester County Detective James Ciliberto at (610) 344-6866.