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Registered sex offender elected fire chief of a Pennsylvania town spurs outrage

February 13, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Registered sex offender elected fire chief of a Pennsylvania town spurs outrage

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A registered sex offender has been re-elected as the volunteer fire department chief of a small town in Pennsylvania, causing outrage from the public as the Mayor continues to defend him.

Chief Roger Gilbert Jr. of Spartanburg was found guilty of having sex with a four-year-old child back in 2001 and completed a five to 10-year sentence for “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.”

In 2010, Gilbert joined the Spartanburg Volunteer Fire Department and was recently re-elected to fire chief for the second time, which led to public outrage.

The news has provoked outcry on the internet from users demanding that Gilbert be terminated from the position.

The victim’s mother also maintains that Gilbert should not be in any situation where he will have contact with children, CBS Local reported.

Despite the critics, the mayor Ann Louise Wagner defended Gilbert.

Wagner said she and the volunteer firefighting department have been informed of Gilbert’s past.

“I support the department and their decision to have him as chief,” Wagner said.

‘The firemen have always elected their officers, and that’s how it’s been done. We don’t question their decisions,’ she added.

The Registered sex offender maintains that he has turned his life around.

“That was 20 years ago. The story you are telling kids is once you make a mistake, you will be punished for the rest of your life. I’ve changed my life for the better,” he told the Corry Journal.

“Every day I get up and try to do good,” he continued.

State authorities said it is up to each community to choose whether to permit sex offenders who have finished their sentences to serve in local office.

Spartanburg is a small town with roughly 300 residents.

The story has sparked an online outrage over his position with several demanding that he step down.

“No man that has had intercourse with a four-year-old should be alive! Much less fire chief where they are looked to as a refuge from harm,” Terry Sheets said on Facebook.

“Why is he allowed to work in a profession where children are to trust and turn to them?!?! His job should NEVER allow him to be in the vicinity of children. SICK,” another user Danielle Card said.

Others criticized the individuals who voted him for the position.

“He needs to be in prison. What is wrong with the people who elected him? It doesn’t say much for the mayor,” Barb Reynolds stated.

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