Police: Jefferson firefighter had child porn, inappropriate texts

Liz Evans Scolforo

When confronted by state police about allegations of sexual impropriety with a teenage girl, a Jefferson volunteer firefighter and borough business owner started speaking about a different teenage girl with whom he'd also apparently had inappropriate conversations, charging documents allege.

Patrick Bruce Reachard "did not appear to know who specifically was the victim of my investigation, which led me to believe that Reachard was speaking to other young juvenile females," Trooper Krystal Dugan wrote in charging documents.

Patrick Reachard

Dugan filed two separate sets of charges against Reachard, alleging he possessed child pornography, tried to corrupt a teenage girl and had unlawful contact with the girl.

Reachard, 51, of 2538 Buffalo Valley Road in Codorus Township, remains in York County Prison on $300,000 bail, charged with possession of child pornography, disseminating sexually explicit material to a minor, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of a minor, indecent assault and related offenses.

Reachard is co-owner of Bridget's Attic, a secondhand store at 2 Baltimore St. in Jefferson's square, according to charging documents and Reachard's Facebook page.

He has been a firefighter with Jefferson Volunteer Fire Co. for at least five years, according to Jefferson Fire Chief Troy Snyder.

Reachard hasn't been particularly active in the fire company for the last year and a half, the chief said.

Suspended: Fire company officials suspended Reachard last week, pending the outcome of his criminal cases, according to Snyder.

If Reachard is convicted or pleads guilty to the charges against him, his affiliation with the fire company will be terminated, Snyder said.

Patrick Reachard

After being alerted by state police to their investigation into Reachard, Jefferson Volunteer Fire Co. conducted an internal investigation and found nothing to indicate Reachard committed any improprieties at the fire station or while representing the station, according to the chief.

Policies: "We have some policies in place that adult members are not to be with minors by themselves," Snyder explained, prompted by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky being accused and convicted of sexually abusing boys.

"There must be two adult members present at any time when minors (are around)," the chief said.

The state police investigation also found nothing to suggest any wrongdoing happened at the fire station, according to Snyder and state police charging documents.

Snyder confirmed most members of the fire company are now aware that a fellow firefighter has been accused of felony offenses.

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"You think you know people, and a lot of times you don't know what they're doing," he said.

The allegations: According to charging documents, Dugan began investigating Reachard in September after being told he was having inappropriate conversations and text messages with a 14-year-old girl.

Armed with a search warrant, Dugan seized Reachard's cellphone Oct. 19 to search for any incriminating text messages between Reachard and the girl, documents state.

As the trooper was speaking to him about the search warrant, Reachard began to talk about a different teenage girl, saying he'd sent her a Facebook Messenger message that morning, and that the girl replied she could not speak to him, according to documents.

"Reachard thought the search warrant was because of (a different) juvenile ... and his inappropriate conversations ... with her," Dugan wrote in charging documents. "Reachard related he made a comment about her homecoming dress and how he could have said (something) about seeing her without it on. He related that (the girl's) mother called him a pervert."

He told Dugan he had been "friends" with the teen for about a year and that she was the only juvenile with whom he had conversations, documents state.

'Only joking around': Later, while being interviewed by police, Reachard "admitted to having inappropriate conversations with both juvenile(s)," documents allege. "He related that he was only joking around and he was not serious."

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Reachard admitted to Dugan that he made a suggestion to the 14-year-old about "messing around and seeing where it leads," documents allege.

Analysis of his cellphone revealed he exchanged 255 texts with the 14-year-old between Aug. 25 and Sept. 25, according to police.

Documents allege his texts to her included:

  • "You think we can behave ourselves?"
  • "Age is just a number. And I'm more like your friend than (an authority figure)."
  • "Do you have issues with older guys? Like does it creep you out?"
  • "How about just messing around and seeing where it leads?"

According to charging documents, Reachard also showed the 14-year-old a photo of a nude woman, then texted her, "I'm going to guess you like that sort of stuff?" The girl said she didn't, according to police.

Other allegations: He also admitted to "accidentally" touching the 14-year-old's buttocks, although the girl told police he grabbed her buttocks and said something like, "it's nice," documents allege. The girl told police she pushed Reachard away and ran to another area of his secondhand store, where his wife was located, police said.

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Dugan alleges that Reachard was found to be in possession of child pornography during her investigation and that he admitted to "producing, possessing and sending child pornography on different social-media applications," documents allege.

Reachard's home phone number has been disconnected and a message left on his and his wife's cellphone was not immediately returned. It is unclear whether Reachard has retained an attorney.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.