Prosecution Rests Case in Semenza Trial

OLD FORGE — The prosecution has rested its case against Old Forge Police Chief Larry Semenza.

On Friday a former police officer implicated in the sex abuse scandal testified against his former boss.

Former Old Forge Police Captain Jamie Krenitsky admitted on the stand that his testimony was a bargaining chip in his plea deal. He’s waiting to be sentenced for sexually assaulting a teenage girl back in 2005. However, Krenitsky said Friday he wanted to testify to do the right thing.

He told the jury what he knew about the relationship between Chief Semenza and the same teenage girl.

Jurors also heard testimony from maybe the only person who claims they saw Semenza molest the girl.

Tammy Eastwood of Taylor didn’t speak to investigators about Chief Larry Semenza’s case until months after his arrest in 2012, and she had to take her memory back much further to 2005 when she was an EMT for Old Forge Ambulance.

She said she saw Semenza with the alleged victim two different times.

Eastwood testified, once, behind the Old Forge Borough building she saw the girl sit on Semenza’s lap in his truck and watched Semenza sexually assault her. Eastwood never reported it in 2005 because she feared retaliation from Semenza.

So far, Tammy Eastwood is the only witness who had direct knowledge of the alleged abuse.

Former Old Forge Police Captain Jamie Krenitsky said he only had assumptions about a sexual relationship between the chief and the girl. Krenitsky testified that the alleged victim would sit on Semenza’s lap in the police department while Semenza and Krenitsky were on duty. Krenitsky said he sometimes heard Semenza call the 15 year old “sexy”.

Krenitsky never reported what he saw to Children and Youth Services or confronted his boss about it because he testified, “{I had} fear that my inappropriate behavior would surface, and he was a very powerful man, you just didn’t cross. “

Jamie Krenitsky was arrested in May of 2012 and last month he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the same teenage girl also in 2005. He potentially faces jail time and will likely have to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Prosecutors rested their case Friday afternoon. Defense counsel will pick up on Monday morning, and Chief Larry Semenza is expected to take the stand in his own defense.

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