Reporting Brad Segall
Filed underChester County, Crime, Crime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Brad Segall, Elizabeth Hur
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — A former prison guard in Chester County finds himself on the other side of the bars, accused of molesting two children in his care.
Authorities say 60-year-old Leroy Mitchell of Coatesville, Pa. was originally arrested on May 31st for sexually assaulting a girl when she was nine years old.
Now, charges have been filed against Mitchell in connection with a second alleged victim.
Chester County district attorney Tom Hogan says Mitchell is charged with multiple counts of indecent assault and child endangerment.
According to officials, the first victim was a nine-year-old girl under the care of Mitchell and his family. He is accused of sexually assaulting her in the Brandywine Creek as well as attempting to get into bed with her and having other inappropriate sexual contact.
The second victim, who was also under Mitchell’s care, was between the ages of seven and nine when she was repeatedly assaulted by the suspect.
“We fall on this defendant like a stack of bricks. We do not take child abuse lightly,” said Hogan.
For neighbors and friends, Mitchell’s home is where many children were welcomed and adored.
“I’m kind of confused because they’ve always been so family oriented, you know, it’s kind of where the kids congregate,” said neighbor Robert Mendenhall.
“It’s shocking. I’m not even sure what all the charges are,” said Mendenhall.
Mitchell is also facing charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and related offenses.
“This particular defendant over the past few decades has been a foster parent for over fifty children, so we are very concerned that there may be more victims out there,” DA Hogan said today.
Bail was set at $500,000 cash, and Mitchell is being held in Montgomery County as a precautionary measure. He was fired from his prison guard job when he was arrested.
Much of his neighbors remain in shock.
“I couldn’t, you know, from my heart see that – him doing that or what he’s accused of, you know, we’ll have to – I’d have to make my judgments later on to see how this plays out,” said Mendenhall.
Hogan says the investigation is ongoing, and if there’s anyone out there with more information they should call his office or Pennsylvania state police.