Fire Department Re-elects Convicted Sex Offender as Chief

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SPARTANSBURG, Pa. – You’ll find the name of Roger Gilbert listed as volunteer fire chief in the small Pennsylvania town of Spartansburg. In fact, the 43-year-old just got re-elected.

The problem, though, is that you’ll also find his name listed in the state’s Megan’s Law database for sex offenders, reports the Corry Journal.

Back in 2001, Gilbert was convicted of “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse” with a 4-year-old girl and served a 5- to 10-year prison sentence.

Gilbert says he’s a changed man—”that was 20 years ago”—but his re-election is drawing plenty of attention after the story was picked up nationally by the AP.

Spartansburg is about 40 miles southeast of Erie, notes PhillyVoice, which points out that Gilbert was elected twice to his post as chief by his fellow firefighters, not the public. (Only about 300 people live in the town.)

“The firemen have always elected their own officers and that’s how it’s always been done,” Mayor Ann Louise Wagner tells the Journal. “We don’t question their decisions.” (Gilbert might see a change in his passport the next time he renews.)

More From Newser:


  • They Can’t Be Rehabilitated

    There is no rehabilitation for these people. They don’t think there’s anything wrong with what they do so you can’t even begin to rehabilitate them. Run him out of town. If the FD won’t get rid of him stop making donations to them. That will get their attention.

  • Toby

    Many people think that being a gay or a lesbian is gross and disgusting. If a gay man got elected would that make the news? Not likely. Just hope that he is a changed man and let him be.

  • Idiot

    This man is sick and disgusting. He should not be allowed to be a volunteer firefighter. I say throw him back in jail and let him sit there forever. He’s lucky the parents of the child didn’t end his life.

  • Not a wise decision

    As a volunteer FF this decision just blows me away. FF’s should have clean records, period. I’m all for forgiveness, redemption, and second chances, but some actions have consequences that should stay with you forever. Poor choice Spartansburg. He didn’t steal a pack of gum 20 years ago, he changed a little girls life for the worse.

  • Jane Dose

    This is disgusting!! That poor girl is only 21!! Intercourse with a 4 year old?? He shouldn’t be breathing!! What is he gets called to a situation where a young girl needs to be rescued?? What will he do to her?? Kids are supposed to be able to trust firemen!!


    This guy would be welcomed in frackville, the little league youth football and vol fire companies definitely had some of these types over the years in their organizations.

    • 1992

      People there just look the other way. Huge lack of lack of respectability/accountability in that town and places around there. Feel sorry for anyone growing up around those people.

    • E

      Ha ha ha ha ha! Your stupidity is astounding! Ha ha ha ha! Hipster doofus ha ha ha! You just made your age obvious, only people who were young in the 70’s used such terms. Ha ha ha ha! So some guy at or near his 60’s is a hipster ha ha ha ha! Hey moron why do you say such stupid things just to be heard? Oh right it’s because you’re low income, abused white trash that needs to be the center of attention. Ha ha ha ha!

      • E

        Ha ha ha! Is that all you’ve got? Ha ha ha! My comment was intended to troll ha ha ha! Oooo exude, must have taken you hours to flip through a thesaurus and find that one. Ha ha ha! Fyi when the only response you have is some NEPA rehearsed bs you make it obvious you have NOTHING. Ha ha ha! Do you know what blind defensive bullsh*t is? “You just exude intellect”, “you need religion”, “listen to this guy”, and my favorite “oh boy, oh boy”. Ha ha ha! Why don’t you directly address my statement instead of spouting typical coal miner trash garbage? Thanks for making it clear that I described you in vivid detail. 😂😂😂

  • laura

    pedophiles are pretty much the 1 criminal that can’t be rehabilitated. 10 years 20 years 30, doesn’t really matter he’s still a pedophile and will reoffend if he hasn’t already.

    • C’mon down

      Come to our next meeting and find out. Last Monday of the month. There will be plenty of people to greet you and make you feel welcome.

      • Ok

        I didn’t say “licensed.” I said “registered.” It wasn’t that confusing for you was it? I’ll ask again, are you all registered?

      • Vol Ff

        No confusion. The correct term is ‘licensed’ when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon. To answer your asinine question about being registered, none of our FF’s have any criminal records whatsoever. So tough guy, still want to come to one of our meetings? Or are you just tough when it comes to being an anonymous poster?

      • Ok

        I’m just tough when it comes to being a anonymous poster. Coward if you will. BUT, you WILL be the first person I call at 2 am if my house catches fire. Or if I get in a car wreck and need lifesaving help. So for that, I thank you for your service.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.