Warrant: Hunlock church searched after sexual assault allegation

By Ed Lewis - [email protected] | February 7th, 2018 12:52 pm - updated: 8:42 pm.

A search warrant unsealed this week says state troopers were investigating an allegation of sexual assault at the Roaring Brook Baptist Church in Hunlock Township.

No charges have been filed.

State Police executed the search warrant at the church on Pritchards Road on Dec. 6.

At the time, Sgt. James Dunleavy said the warrant was for “allegations of misconduct” at the church, but he did not disclose the nature of the investigation.

State Police obtained the search warrant based on a complaint they received on Feb. 23 from a 19-year-old man, who claimed he was sexually assaulted at least three times inside the church. The man alleged he was in the first or second grade when he was assaulted.

Dunleavy could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday. A message to the church was returned by Pastor Dan Brubaker, who referred questions to attorney George Gossett.

Gossett, of Philadelphia, said he was with a client and unable to speak with the Times Leader on Wednesday afternoon.

The search warrant and affidavit were sealed by Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough on Dec. 5, and kept in a safe at the county clerk’s office.

Under Pennsylvania law, search warrants upon request by the district attorney’s office are initially sealed for 60 days. Prosecutors can request the search warrant to remain sealed for an additional 30 days.

In this case, a request to keep the search warrant sealed was not made, resulting in the warrant and affidavit becoming unsealed for public review.

The search warrant sought attendance records and lists of students and teachers at the church from May 2001 through May 2009. The affidavit said troopers hoped to use the records to identify potential witnesses and victims related to the allegation.

A blank inventory receipt is attached to the search warrant. An inventory receipt is a list of items seized by authorities.

While the receipt of items taken from the church is blank, troopers were observed removing two computer towers from the church Dec. 6.

State police at Shickshinny executed a search warrant at Roaring Brook Baptist Church in Hunlock Township on Dec. 6. Court documents reveal that they were investigating a man’s allegations that he was sexually abused there as a child.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_Roaring-Brook-Baptist-Church-12062017-4.jpgState police at Shickshinny executed a search warrant at Roaring Brook Baptist Church in Hunlock Township on Dec. 6. Court documents reveal that they were investigating a man’s allegations that he was sexually abused there as a child. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Sgt. James Dunleavy leaves the Roaring Brook Baptist Church to speak to the media following a search of the church in December. A newly unsealed search warrant reveals that troopers have been investigating an allegation of sexual assault at the church.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_TTL120717Pastor2-4.jpgPennsylvania State Police Trooper Sgt. James Dunleavy leaves the Roaring Brook Baptist Church to speak to the media following a search of the church in December. A newly unsealed search warrant reveals that troopers have been investigating an allegation of sexual assault at the church. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader


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