Gilbert joined the volunteer fire service in 2010 and since risen to the highest rank
15 February, 2018, 09:56
A man convicted of a felony sex crime against a 4-year-old girl has been elected to his second term as chief of a Pennsylvania town's volunteer fire department, The Corry Journal reports.
Roger Gilbert Jr. tells NBC affiliate WICU that he is stepping down, effective immediately, after receiving backlash and death threats.
Fire Chief Roger Gilbert Jr., who heads the Spartansburg volunteer fire company, pleaded guilty to "involuntary deviate sexual intercourse" in 2001 after forcing the toddler to perform oral sex on him, The Corry Journal reported Saturday.
"That was 20 years ago", he said of the crime. I've changed my life for the better. "I shouldn't be punished for the rest of my life".
Wagner said she and the volunteer firefighting department are aware of Gilbert's history.
However, how is it safe a registered sex offender to be a fire chief, a position that will allow him to interact with distressed children in case of an emergency?
Spartansburg Mayor Ann Louise Wagner has publicly stood behind her decision to uphold Gilbert's re-election. "Every day I get up and try to do good", he said. We don't question their decisions, ' she said.
State police say it is up to each town to decide whether convicted sex offenders who have completed their sentences can hold public office at the local level.
Spartansburg is a small town with around 300 residents.
"They need to adjust the bylaws of the fire department if they don't already have one", the victim's mother said.
'No grown man that has had intercourse with a four year old should still be alive! "They are putting other lives at stake by allowing him to be in this position. You don't want this for your community".
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