OLD FORGE — The sex scandal in Old Forge was front and center inside a Lackawanna County courtroom.
It was a preliminary hearing for police Captain James Krenitsky, one of three people charged in the case that involves a teenaged girl.
The now 23-year-old woman who unraveled the scandal in the Old Forge police and fire departments spoke publicly for the first time since she went to investigators earlier this year.
She described in detail the relationship she had with suspended Old Forge Police Captain James Krenitsky back when she was only 15 years old.
Krenitsky sat silently in the courtroom as the woman described what started as flirting, then progressed to sexual contact. She said the sex acts happened inside the Old Forge borough building many times when Krenitsky was on duty and in uniform.
“I was 15, 16 afterwards, a high school student, I had someone older than me who liked me. It felt good,” said the alleged victim.
Krenitsky’s defense team attacked the alleged victim’s credibility. In court, attorneys accused her of witness tampering, and looking to gain from a civil suit.
“It’s a cash grab. We believe this is all about money, 100% nothing else. She has no problem with my client. My client never threatened her, caused her any problems, now I can’t say that about any other individual. So why? Why now?” asked Jason Mattioli, Krenitsky’s attorney.
The woman said one reason why she never told authorities about her relationship with Krenitsky is because she was “deathly afraid” of Old Forge Police Chief Larry Semenza.
Semenza, along with former Old Forge firefighter Walter Chiavacci, is also charged with having sexual contact with the woman when she was underage.
The woman testified she never feared retaliation from Krenitsky and even apologized for getting him caught up in the scandal.
“My heart goes out to his family, but I’m not going to let that slide,”
“I think the victim did a fantastic job with testifying. I think she told the truth, and I think the Commonwealth’s case will proceed as we anticipated,” said Jennifer McCambridge, Deputy Assistant District Attorney.
The judge decided to wrap up Wednesday’s hearing before the attorneys went through all of the evidence. The hearing will finish up next week. Then the judge will determine if Krenitsky will stand trial.