Staff member of youth detention center in Swatara Twp. accused of sexually assaulting detainee

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — A staff member of Schaffner Youth Detention Center in Swatara Township is accused of sexually assaulting a detainee and sending inappropriate messages to her.

Gary Hurst, 25, has been charged with aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, institutional sexual assault of a minor and corruption of minors, court documents show. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The victim, 17, was detained at the center from March 5 to March 26. She told investigators that during that time, Hurst, who had been at the center for approximately four years, had inappropriate contact with her.

The teen advised that on one occasion, Hurst walked into her room while she was getting dressed; she, in response, said she was “shocked” and didn’t want him to see her change, according to the criminal complaint.

She added that Hurst wanted to feel her and he told her, allegedly, to touch herself and expose her chest to him. It’s alleged that Hurst also touched the victim inappropriately.

Police wrote in the criminal complaint that Hurst talked about having sex with the victim when she left the center.

When the victim got out, Hurst allegedly sent inappropriate pictures to the victim via a social media app and asked for her to do the same. She declined.

According to the criminal complaint, Hurst went to the victim’s house four days after she left the center. The two kissed in his car and the victim pushed Hurst away, saying he is a grown man and it wasn’t right, when he allegedly rubbed up her leg.

Hurst, who said he wasn’t the victim’s assigned counselor but claimed the two became close during sessions, spoke with police about the allegations. He denied having sexual contact with the teen but acknowledged that messages he sent to her were inappropriate.

He now faces charges.

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