Closings & Delays

Lancaster County man on probation for daughter’s death convicted of raping two pre-teen girls

LANCASTER COUNTY — A Manheim Township man already on probation regarding his daughter’s death was convicted this week of raping two pre-teen girls between 2006 and 2013, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Geoffrey Bussard, 47, was convicted of 18 counts, including rape, on Wednesday after a three-day trial. The Lancaster County jury deliberated for about an hour before rendering its verdict, the DA’s Office said.

Bussard will be sentenced by Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely after a background investigation, which will include Bussard’s guilty plea last year on a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child in connection to the drowning death of his 3-year-old daughter in 2017.

In that case, prosecutors say, the girl wandered out of a Farmstead Lane home and into the family’s swimming pool while Bussard and the girl’s mother slept inside.

Susie Rehm, 40, the girl’s mother, pleaded guilty to felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and endangering a child in the case, and was sentenced to a one- to two-year prison term and four years of probation.

Bussard received a five-year probation term in exchange for his guilty plea.

Manheim Township Police began investigating Bussard on suspicion of sexual abuse when the two victims came forward last year, prosecutors say. Bussard told one of the girls that sexual abuse was a way of showing love, according to testimony at trial.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Muller told the jury in closing arguments that Bussard stole the girls’ “childhood, innocence, and dignity.”

Bussard had no visible reaction to the guilty verdicts, according to prosecutors.

Knisely raised Bussard’s bail to $2 million following the conviction.

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