Old Forge Officer, Former Firefighter Arrested

State Police have now made two arrests connected to a sexual abuse case in Lackawanna County, first a police captain from Old Forge and now a former firefighter in the borough.

Both are accused of having sex with a teenage girl.

The Old Forge Police Captain James Krenitsky was arrested Wednesday night on three different sexual abuse charges. Now, state police said, a former firefighter, Walter Chiavacci, is accused of the same crime, having sex with a 15-year-old girl back in 2004.

Late Thursday afternoon state police took former Old Forge firefighter Walter Chiavacci out of the barracks in Dunmore to be arraigned on charges of aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors.

State police said Chiavacci is just one of the people under investigation from the Old Forge Police and Fire Departments. He is accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl in 2004.

“I don’t know exactly when she came in, but obviously with a case like this we are going to move quickly,” said Trooper Connie Devens.

The victim, who is now 23, first identified an Old Forge police captain, James Krenitsky. He was charged and was taken to Lackawanna County jail Wednesday night to be arraigned.

According to court papers, Krenitsky had sexual contact with the same girl but a year later inside the police department while Krenitsky was on duty.

“At this moment, Old Forge Police Department Captain James Krenitsky is suspended, Police Chief Larry Semenza is on administrative leave pending the investigation which is through the district attorney’s office,” said Old Forge Mayor Michelle Avvisato.

She confirmed Police Chief Larry Semenza is also under investigation but couldn’t tell Newswatch 16 why. The police department’s third in command, Kim Buggey, has taken over for the time being while the borough begins to recover the blow.

“I’m in shock. I’m in shock. I just can’t believe it,” Mayor Avvisato added.

Anthony Torquato was mayor of Old Forge when the sexual contact allegedly took place, sometimes within the borough building. He too is in shock over the downfall of both a borough firefighter and police officer and this scandal will divide the Old Forge community.

“A lot of emotions are going to come out, and, let’s put it this way, if you like the police officers you’re going to defend them and if you don’t you’ll jump on them,” said former Mayor Torquato.

Chiavacci was arraigned Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, Captain James Krenitsky was released from prison on $25,000 bail.

Krenitsky is suspended from the police department with pay. Chief Larry Semenza is on administrative leave, also with pay.



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