Prison for Windsor Twp. foster father who molested boy
A Windsor Township pedophile who had a foster child placed with him by York County caseworkers despite his previous convictions must serve at least five years in prison for sexually assaulting the foster child.
Ronald Lee Witmer, 50, was sentenced Monday, Nov. 20, to five to 10 years in state prison, plus five years of probation after release.
He also was ordered to have no contact with children and to register for the rest of his life as a sexual offender under Pennsylvania's Megan's Law, according to court records.
The sentence was part of a negotiated plea agreement, court records state.
Witmer pleaded guilty Aug. 14 to the felonies of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child less than 16 and corruption of a minor.
York Area Regional Police filed charges against Witmer in late April, after the boy went to police April 22 to report the sexual abuse, police said.
What victim said: The teen told police that Witmer sexually assaulted him numerous times over a period of several months, police said.
Witmer also made the teen watch pornographic videos and look at pornographic magazines, police said.
The York County Office of Children, Youth and Families allegedly placed the teen in foster care with Witmer, according to a federal lawsuit filed Oct. 3.
At the time the lawsuit was filed, the boy was 13 years old, court documents state.
York County caseworkers took the boy from his mother in 2012 and placed him with Witmer and his wife, Mary Ann Stough. The couple was granted legal custody of the boy in 2013, according to the lawsuit.
Past guilty pleas: Witmer pleaded guilty in 1989 to charges related to allegations of fondling a 4-year-old boy's genitals, and he pleaded guilty again in 1991 on charges stemming from allegations that he exposed himself to two young boys, according to the lawsuit.
Attorney Nathaniel Foote of Andreozzi and Associates, which is representing the boy and his mother, said the striking aspect of this case is how easily accessible those prior convictions were for them to find.
"We found them in a matter of minutes," Foote previously told The York Dispatch. "It was all public information available online."
The lawsuit notes the struggles of the York County Office of Children, Youth and Families, which began with a downgraded license in 2015.
Failed inspections: The agency received four consecutive downgraded licenses before receiving its full license in October 2016. One more failed inspection would have meant the state's Department of Human Services would take over control of day-to-day operations.
A recent report by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale notes that the state's county caseworkers are often overworked, underpaid and inadequately trained.
These factors have led to staff turnover as high as 90 percent in York County during a two-year period, according to the report.
Foote said the teen's mother has regained full custody of him.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.