5 Va. volunteer firefighters being investigated over alleged rape of teen girl
STRASBURG, Va. (ABC7) —
Virginia State Police confirmed Wednesday they are investigating allegations five Virginia firefighters committed sex acts with a then-underage 17-year-old girl, and then shared video of the acts using an app.
The sex acts allegedly happened in the small town of Strasburg in Shenandoah County. All five men accused are volunteer firefighters at the town’s only fire station.
No charges have been filed, but police say the investigation is still ongoing.
The accusations were first made in April. Strasburg Mayor Rich Orndorff says a citizen told him about them, and not long after the alleged victim’s parents met with him at City Hall.
He says he then met with the town manager and the police chief and police captain. They decided they didn’t want the town’s police department investigating its volunteer fire department.
“It was the police chief’s suggestion that we look into having the state police conduct the investigation,” Orndorff said. “And we thought that was best and I certainly felt that was best.”
A court affidavit filed by police to obtain a search warrant said the teen’s mother shared texts and screengrabs about the alleged sex acts.
“Screenshots provided by the mother… indicate the victim was highly intoxicated, was intimidated by all the suspects, and the sex with (suspect name) was not consensual,” the affidavit said.
ABC7 News is not naming the suspects because no charges have been filed.
The affidavit says the sex acts happened at one of the firefighter’s houses as well as at a hotel close to I-81 in Strasburg. The affidavit says they also happened at the firehouse, but on Wednesday a state police spokesperson told ABC7 that had been ruled out.
One of the accused firefighters told ABC7 Wednesday that he and the others wanted to get all the facts about the accusation before responding publicly. He did indicate he thought there were a lot of holes in the alleged victim’s accusations.
The town manager says the men are not on leave and are all still working as volunteer firefighters.
The allegations have shocked a lot of people in the small town.
“This is not Strasburg,” Orndorff said. “This is very disheartening. Strasburg is a very close-knit community.”