Roger Gilbert Jr, listed above as chief of Pennsylvania’s Spartansburg Volunteer Fire Department in 2016 and recently re-elected, was NOT convicted of raping a four-year-old girl. What he was actually convicted of is IDSI, or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. According to legal websites, in Pennsylvania “IDSI differs from rape by encompassing more sex acts, including penetration with foreign objects or sex with an animal.”
The crime occurred in 2000 in a town about eight miles from the firehouse. Not only is the fire department okay with the chief’s past, but as you will see in the news coverage below, so is the mayor of Spartansburg.
Mayor Ann Louise Wagner says she and firefighters have been aware that Gilbert, an unpaid volunteer with the department since 2010, is a sex offender. He was just elected to his second term.
Gilbert, now 43, told the Journal he has changed his life for the better since committing the crime in 2000 in the nearby city of Corry.
“That was 20 years ago,” Gilbert said. “You know, the story you are telling kids is once you make mistake, you will be punished for the rest of your life. I’ve changed my life for the better. Every day I get up and try to do good.”
State police said it is up to each individual community to decide whether to allow sex offenders who have completed their sentences to serve in an office at the local level.