Waynesboro police officer 'seduced and manipulated' girl, investigators say
A former Waynesboro police officer resigned from his job in January following multiple allegations of sexually abusing a minor, according to police.
On Dec. 10, Pennsylvania State Police were notified by Waynesboro Area Senior High School that a juvenile female student had reported a sexual assault against her to her guidance counselor.
A trooper met with the school resource officer and the 16-year-old victim. While at the school, it was reported the victim had received "unwanted sexual contact" from a male Waynesboro police officer, according to court documents.
An emergency forensic interview was conducted with the victim at the Franklin County Over the Rainbow Children's Advocacy Center that same day.
During the interview, the victim disclosed she developed a friendship with Sublett approximately one year before. He was the responding officer to a medical emergency she experienced in December 2019, and he would come by her residence from time to time to check on her, according to court documents.
She said that this past November, Sublett took her to his home and touched her inappropriately. She said she told him to stop, and she pushed him off of her when he refused, court documents state.
During follow-up interviews, it was discovered that Sublett had provided the victim with a cell phone and he would message her under a pseudonym. Home security footage showed the interaction during which Sublett gave the girl the phone.
The phone, seized as evidence, contained multiple conversations in which Sublett attempted to solicit inappropriate photos of the victim in exchange for various purchases, according to police.
On Dec. 10, Sublett was interviewed at the PSP Chambersburg station. He confirmed he met the victim while responding to a medical emergency.
Sublett identified himself as a "role-model figure" for the victim and said he would check up on her at the victim's mother's request, according to court documents. He denied ever contacting the victim through text messages or giving her a cell phone.
He immediately terminated the interview when the nature of the allegation was discussed, police said.
Sublett was placed on administrative leave by the chief of the Waynesboro Police Department on the night of Dec. 10. He resigned on Jan. 5.
The victim was 15 years of age when Sublett started "seducing and manipulating" the victim, court documents state.
In response to the charges, Franklin County District Attorney Matt Fogal released a statement.
"Any time a person is victimized in our community, we in law enforcement thoroughly and objectively investigate the allegation," the statement read. "Remember that law enforcement officers are human beings equipped with the usual repertoire of emotions, and show appropriate and innate empathy for our victims of any reported crimes. For most of us, whether a law enforcement officer or prosecutor, protecting our neighbors and seeking justice for victims is why we chose this career."
Fogal noted that Sublett violated the "Guardian Oath."
"When the reported crime is sexual in nature, we cannot help but recognize the special implication on the victim’s psychological well-being, and even especially so when that victim of a sexual crime is a child in our community," the statement continued. "Because many of us are fathers or mothers ourselves, there is of course a heightened sense of responsibility and caring. But where, as here, the person that sexually preys on our child victim turns out to be a fellow law enforcement officer, we are extraordinarily angered."
Read the full statement below:
Sublett will be preliminarily arraigned at the office of Magisterial District Judge David Plum, according to the news release from the district attorney's office.
The Franklin County D.A.'s Office Bureau of Detectives partnered with the Pennsylvania State Police in the investigation.
Carley Bonk is a Watchdog Reporter for the USA Today Network - Pennsylvania. Her coverage spans across the southcentral region of Pennsylvania. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @carls_marie.