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The original item was published from 11/18/2019 12:13:39 PM to 11/18/2019 12:14:03 PM.

News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: November 18, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Man who Served 20 Years for Sexual Abuse Back in Prison for Contacting Victim


A convicted child rapist who served 20 years is headed back to state prison – for trying to contact a victim and two children weeks after completing the prison term.

Peter J. Shelley was sentenced in 1999 to 10 to 20 years (plus 10 years’ probation) for numerous crimes against two local girls.

He served the maximum 20-year term and was released in August.

Twenty-nine days after release, he attempted to contact via Facebook one of the victims and two local children, Assistant District Attorney Fritz Haverstick said at a recent probation violation hearing.

Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely sentenced Shelley to 1 to 10 years.

Shelley attempted to reach the victim, now an adult, and children by sending Facebook requests, ADA Haverstick said in court.

One of the victims told Judge Knisely she thought she had moved on from this part of her past.

ADA Haverstick called the conduct “unconscionable,” saying Shelley “revictimized” the woman within a month of being released from prison.

Shelley said in court that he did not understand technology and made the contacts by accident. Judge Knisely said he did not believe that to be genuine.

East Lampeter Township and Lancaster police filed the original charges back in 1999 regarding years of abuse.

Shelley had been living at a transitional housing facility in Harrisburg upon release from prison.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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