School Closings
Here’s how you can help those affected by the California wildfires

Former staffer at Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center jailed on sexual abuse charges

LANCASTER — A former staff member at a Lancaster County youth detention center will serve up to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing five juveniles at the facility, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

David T. Stevenson, 52, pleaded guilty and no-contest Wednesday to numerous counts of sex abuse, including counts of aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact, institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, and criminal solicitation.

The charges stemmed from his conduct in 2016 and 2017, when he worked at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center on Circle Avenue.

The victims ranged in age from 15-17, the district attorney’s office said. They were dependency residents at the facility, meaning they were housed separately from the population in detention.

In exchange for his pleas, Stevenson will serve a 10- to 25-year prison term, plus three years of probation. The plea agreement was arranged by Assistant District Attorney Fritz Haverstick, who prosecuted the case.

According to Haverstick, Stevenson was a youth care worker when he abused the girls. He tried to convince one of the victims to attempt suicide so that she would be transferred to another facility, where he hoped to pick her up, Haverstick told the court.

Stevenson also offered two girls money in exchange for sex, Haverstick said, and routinely made sexually explicit comments to all the girls.

Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker accepted the plea terms and ordered sentence. The president judge noted that Stevenson had no prior criminal record, but said the sentence was appropriate given all the conduct involved.