A former staff member at a Lancaster County youth detention center will serve up to 25 years in prison for sex abuse of juveniles at the facility.
David T. Stevenson, 52, pleaded guilty and no-contest Wednesday in Lancaster County Court to numerous counts of sex abuse, regarding behavior in 2016 and 2017 when Stevenson worked at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center.
Stevenson pleaded guilty or no-contest to crimes against five juveniles, ages 15 to 17, who were dependency residents at the facility, meaning they lived separately from the population in detention.
In exchange for the pleas, Stevenson will serve 10 to 25 years in prison – plus 3 years’ probation - in accordance with an agreement arranged by Assistant District Attorney Fritz Haverstick.
Haverstick said in court Stevenson was a youth care worker when he victimized the five girls. Stevenson tried to convince one girl to attempt suicide so she would be transferred to another facility where Stevenson hoped to pick her up, Haverstick said.
Stevenson, formerly of Reading, also offered two girls money for sex, according to Haverstick. Stevenson made sexually-explicit comments routinely 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.
One of the victims was in court for Wednesday’s hearing.
Lancaster city police Detective Aaron Harnish filed charges, which included counts of aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact, institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, and criminal solicitation.
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