Thursday, July 10, 2014





Suit filed over alleged assaults


February 19. 2013 4:28PM
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SCRANTON ‚?? A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by two Old Forge police officers and a volunteer firefighter when she was a teenager has filed a federal lawsuit against the borough, police department and her alleged attackers.


The suit, filed under the pseudonym ‚??Jane Doe,‚?Ě claims members of borough council and the mayor knew about the repeated sexual encounters but failed to enact policies that would have protected the woman.


The suit comes six months after the woman‚??s allegations led to criminal charges against Police Chief Lawrence Semenza, officer Jamie Krenitsky and firefighter Walter Chiavacci. The cases against the men are pending in Lackawanna County Court.


The woman, now 23, alleges she was sexually abused by the men starting when she was age 15.


According to the suit filed by attorney Matthew Slocum of Scranton:


In about July 2004, the alleged victim was approached by Chiavacci, who asked her if she wanted to take a walk. Chiavacci led the girl down a dark alley, where he forcibly grabbed and kissed her and sexually assaulted her.


The girl eventually freed herself. Over the next three years Chiavacci repeatedly begged the girl not to report what had happened.


In August 2004, the girl was approached by Semenza to join the Old Forge Fire Department as a junior firefighter.


Over the next three years, Semenza took her on fire training trips and bought her gifts in order to gain her trust so that he could sexually abuse her.


Semenza, while dressed in uniform, would meet the girl at the firehouse and expose his genitals. He also would frequently secretly enter a shower room and watch as the girl showered, the suit says.


In January 2005, Krenitsky began engaging in sexually explicit conversations with the girl. Feeling intimidated and incapable of declining, the girl began a sexual relationship with Krenitsky that lasted about six months.


The 18-count suit seeks unspecified damages from the borough and police department for failing to properly train employees and to institute programs that would ensure sexual abuse would not occur.


In addition, the woman seeks damages from Semenza, Krenitsky and Chiavacci for multiple counts, including assault and battery, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of her due process rights.


William Rinaldi, solicitor for the borough, said Friday he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment. Council President Brian Rinaldi could not be reached for comment.




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