A police captain, the police chief, and a former Old Forge firefighter are all wrapped up in a sexual abuse scandal that has rocked this community.
Police Captain James Krenitsky and the former firefighter, Walter Chiavacci, have been arrested and accused of sexual contact with a teenage girl several years ago.
Police Captain Krenitsky was arrested and charged with having sex with a 15-year-old girl back in 2005. Former Old Forge firefighter Walter Chiavacci was also arrested for having sexual contact with the same girl a year earlier.
“It was a stupid mistake, stupid. They should have known better. She was only a young girl, but I do have confidence in them and I’m sure they will heal from this,” said Ann Marie Bianca, an Old Forge native.
Before the borough can heal though many said there needs to be an end to the speculation. Police Chief Larry Semenza is also under investigation by the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s office. He has been placed on administrative leave.
“I went to get my hair done yesterday with a lot of local people and it’s all anyone could talk about, people are really upset and distraught,” said Debra Hart of Old Forge.
“Out of the blue this happens, and it’s been going on for all this time, I mean we’re supposed to trust these people with our protection. It’s just really shocking. ” said Linette Richardson from Old Forge.
Chief Semenza has not been accused of any wrong-doing, but he’s off the job indefinitely while the investigation continues. Meanwhile, Captain Krenitsky and Chiavacci are preparing to defend themselves in court.
Many local people are still reeling from what has become one of the borough’s biggest scandals.
“It’s a great town, it really is, They’ll all come together and learn from this and triumph I’m sure,” said Bianca.
Newswatch 16 had an opportunity to speak to Captain James Krenitsky’s attorney Friday afternoon. He declined to make any comments about the case but said Krenitsky’s first court hearing has already been pushed back to June 27.
Both Krenitsky and Chiavacci are currently free on bail.