Mother, Son Charged In Child Sex Abuse Case In Lackawanna County

ARCHBALD, Pa. -- According to Archbald police, Mathew Bryant, 27, of Archbald admitted to sexually abusing several young girls.

Detectives say the abuse happened at the girls' home in Dunmore and at an apartment in Archbald, where Bryant lives with his mother and went on for over a year.

"It began with us being contacted when a child was taken to a hospital and since that time we've been investigating this. Him being charged is the most appropriate thing we can do right now,” said Archbald Police Chief Tim Trently.

Brant's mother, Joan Peterson, 58, is also charged.

Cops say she knew what was happening but did nothing to stop it or report it.

According to court papers, one alleged victim "…told Peterson almost every instance when she had been assaulted by Bryant," but she "…never told anyone else about the incidents of abuse."

"I'm in shock, I'm in total, total shock and disgust that it's right around the corner from my house,” said Debbie O’Connor of Archbald.

People who live near Peterson and Bryant were upset to learn of the charges.

Paul Mericle lives right across the street.

"It's just something you don't think is going to happen you know where you live in your neighborhood."

Police say Bryant admitted he may have videos or pictures of his victims.

A computer and other items were taken from his apartment.

One alleged victim told police Bryant kept pictures of her as "…his secrets."

"The officers did great work here, little extensive to get all the facts in,” said Chief Trently.

Bryant is locked up on $100,000 bail in Lackawanna County Prison.

His mother is free on bail.

Both are due back in court at the end of the month.

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