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Amish bishop in Dauphin County charged with failure to report child sex abuse cases

LYKENS, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.–An Amish bishop was charged this week for failing to report two cases of suspected child sex abuse in Dauphin County.

Christ M. Stoltzfus, 69, of Eliabethville, is charged with two counts of failure to report suspected child abuse.

Under Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, clergymen are required by law to report suspected child abuse.

In January, a member of Stoltzfus’ congregation told Pennsylvania State Police that he told the bishop about cases of child sex abuse that occurred in 2011, according to the criminal complaint.

Daniel Fisher

The cases involved Daniel Ray Fisher, 44, of Millersburg. Fisher is accused of inappropriately touching two girls, ages 5 and 10, in two separate cases in 2011.

In the first case, Fisher asked to see the girl’s snow pants and then sexually assaulted her, according to court records. During an interview with state police in November 2016, Fisher confessed to the second sexual assault, according to the criminal complaint. State police said Fisher began to sweat profusely and stated, “You got me.”

In the other case, Fisher sexually assaulted the girl while he adjusted her dress, court documents state.

Fisher was charged with aggravated indecent assault of a child, unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault without consent, corruption of minors and indecent assault. Fisher’s next court date is June 8.

In February, Stoltzfus told state police during an interview that he was told the sexual abuse “wasn’t really that bad,” according to court documents. Troopers asked Stoltzfus if he thought it was a problem that sexual abuse was not being reported to law enforcement. Stoltzfuse responded “It probably is,” court records state. When state police pressed Stoltzfus that because he didn’t report the cases, it appeared as if the sexual abuse was being covered up. Stoltzfus replied, “Well that’s what happened in that case…I didn’t know everything,” according to the criminal complaint.

A preliminary hearing for Stoltzfus is scheduled for June 14.