Sexual abuse in Lititz The spotlight may be on Sandusky, but it happens everywhere
By: STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff, Staff Writer
There’s a Sandusky-like case in every town.
For Lititz, the latest is the case of Barry Alan Foultz.
He’s the former local man who was recently extradicted from Florida to answer charges that he sexually assaulted a Lititz boy 14 years ago.
"Everyone’s eyes are so open to the Sandusky case," Lititz Detective John Schofield said, referring to the high profile sexual abuse case involving former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. "There are so many Sandusky cases out there right now, where people are finally having the courage to come forward. This guy (Foultz) felt that by living all the way down in Florida, his past wasn’t going to catch up to him."
While the Sandusky case involves multiple victims and the Foultz case involves only one, investigators are still troubled by the similarities.
Schofield and Sgt. Kerry Nye flew to Florida in late October to assist with the process of bringing Foultz north to answer his charges.
Schofield said it was back in 1997 and ’98 when Foultz, now 50, was living with a local family that took him in because he was down on his luck and had nowhere to stay. His host family, a single father with three boys, offered him a low-rent room. As time went on, Foultz would help keep an eye on the boys, and he eventually gained the trust of the youngest.
"I believe he groomed him," Schofield said. "He took advantage of his weaknesses and began abusing him."
After about six months of abuse, the victim, 14, had enough.
"He stood up for himself, and he told him no," Schofield said.
Foultz moved out the next day.
The victim kept the abuse to himself and the perpetrator stayed in the Lititz area for a couple more years, eventually moving to his father’s trailer park in Orlando, Florida.
Years passed, but the pain did not subside. Eventually, at age 27, the abused boy decided to talk to police.
"When he first came into the police station with his mother, he was very emotional," Schofield recalled.
An investigation began March 31, 2011, eventually leading to Foultz’s arrest Oct. 25. Schofield said he cooperated fully and admitted to the allegations.
It’s a long process, and during this particular case, the Sandusky scandal at Penn State took over the national headlines.
"While he (the victim in the Lititz case) was waiting for (Foultz’s) preliminary hearing, everything happened in the news," Schofield said of the parallels. "Every time he’s watching this on the news, it was a constant reminder of his case."
Schofield said he was disgusted when he learned the details of the Sandusky story, and it immediately made him think of Barry Foultz and all the lower-profile cases that take place every day.
"Just like (the Sandusky) case, this victim reported it several years later when he was an adult, when he felt comfortable and confident enough to come forward."
Foultz is currently facing 15 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, which is a felony 1; five counts of statutory sexual assault, which is a felony 2; five counts of aggravated sexual assault, which is a felony 2; 15 counts of indecent assault, which is a felony 2; one count of corruption of minors, which is a first degree misdemeanor; and one count of endangering the welfare of children, which is third degree felony.
"With all those counts of felonies, he’s looking at a very substantial sentence," Schofield said, "if found guilty."
After waiving his Dec. 28 preliminary hearing in Warwick Township, the case goes to county court, where he’ll be arraigned. If he pleads guilty at the arraignment, he’ll be sentenced immediately. If he pleads not guilty, the process moves on to trial.
An arraignment date has not been set, but Schofield believes it will happen within the next four to six months.
In the meantime, Foultz will be imprisoned at the Lancaster County jail.
It’s a long wait for the victim, whose ordeal began more than a dozen years ago.
"That stinks," Schofield said about the time it takes.
During the process, the detective has built a good rapport with the victim, a boy he recalls from long ago. As he thinks back, he’s disturbed by the notion that perpetrators could be anywhere.
"We would see these kids around town," Schofield said, recalling the boy and his brothers. "I would see them on their porch and stop and talk to them while I was on patrol. And never in my mind did I believe that when I said good-bye to these kids, he would walk back into his house and probably be sexually abused by this guy within minutes of talking to us. You just never know when it’s happening. And that’s the sad part."
Closure may be near.
"Step number one was coming forward," Schofield said. "That was huge for him to know that his family believed him and they’re supporting him.
"Step number two was coming to report that to us. Step three, which was just recently, was he had to be present for the preliminary hearing. Thinking he was going to have to testify, it was very emotional for him."
"Once this is all over," Schofield added, "and he’s been sentenced, I think the victim will then be able to move on … somewhat."
Moving on is relative, and Schofield knows he will face more cases like this in the future.
"I’ve dealt with this more often that I thought I would have to," he said. "However, I think if more victims come forward, it will encourage even more to come forward."
Does the Sandusky case help?
"I think the media, in one way, helps get the word out that there is help for victims, and there is justice for victims," he said. "However, in the same sense, I think there are victims out there who don’t want to go through what they see other victims go through in the media. I’m hoping that they get encouraged through the media.
"You can understand why it does take a while for someone to gain the strength and the confidence to come forward." More FOULTZ, page A2