WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Township police on Tuesday arrested William Arthur Celmer, 61, after a girl said he molested her in his house and while playing a game in a swimming pool.
Celmer, of East Northampton Street, Wilkes-Barre Township, was charged with two counts of indecent assault and a single count of corruption of minors. He was arraigned by District Judge Michael Dotzel and jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $75,000 bail.
Township police said the girl wrote about the alleged assaults in a journal that was discovered by her grandmother earlier this year.
According to the criminal complaint:
The girl told authorities Celmer touched her inappropriately beginning in 2004 when she was 5-years-old and lasting until 2013 when she turned 13. She recalled the first alleged encounter when Celmer placed his hands in her pants when she sat on a couch in his residence.
The girl said that when she swam in Celmer’s pool, he would place his hand between her legs and his other hand on her head and dunk her while playing a game, the complaint says.
Police said in the complaint the girl reported that she told her mother about the alleged molestation but believed her mother had forgotten.
Police questioned Celmer on April 24 and he told detectives he could not remember much because he had been drinking. He said he did play games with the girl in his pool by placing his arm around the girl’s upper torso and his other hand between her legs but it wasn’t sexual.
During the interview, Celmer told detectives, “You know how 12-year-olds are now-a-days; they’re nothing like the 12-year- olds were when I was 12,” as he motioned with his hands across his chest and quickly saying, “Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that,” the complaint says.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on July 16.