SOUTH FAYETTE, Pa. (KDKA) - Additional charges could be filed as soon as the end of this week against a Washington County man accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy and promising him Fortnite currency to keep quiet.
Investigators say the new charges stem from alleged incidents involving two victims in South Fayette. Ryan Wolstoncroft, 36, knew all three victims through Bethany Presbyterian Church in Bridgeville, investigators say.
South Fayette police Chief John Phoennik says he plans on filing charges as soon as he gets the green light from the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.
"Based on the recommendation from the district attorney, we will file charges," said Phoennik.
Phoennik says it's a waiting game right now. He says he's hoping he will soon be able to file charges against Wolstoncroft for two separate incidents that took place nearly two decades ago involving two victims in South Fayette who were around 8 or 9 years old at the time.
"We received back in December a report from a mandated reporter that reported that two individuals came to her at Bethany Presbyterian Church to report that they had been fondled 15 to 20 years ago by an individual who had worked at the church," said Phoennik.
Chief Phoennik says Wolstoncroft was babysitting the two boys separately at their homes in South Fayette when the allegations took place. He says further investigating revealed the third and most recent victim in Cecil Township is a 12-year-old boy. Detectives say Wolstoncroft would promise the boy Fortnite currency to keep him quiet.
"It's very disturbing. Today's world, there's a lot going on. It's just very disturbing when it hits home," said Phoennik.
Bethany Presbyterian Church issued this statement:
"Ryan Wolstoncroft is a member but has never been on staff at our church. He has worked in various volunteer positions but has not held any positions in any of our children or youth programs. We are devastated by the news and have been fully cooperating with the authorities. We are asking everyone to join us in prayer and support for all of the families and friends affected by this."
The church says Wolstoncroft is still a member but has been removed from any positions he held as the investigation continues.
KDKA reached out to the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office. The spokesperson says the alleged incidents in South Fayette are still under review.
Phoennik says he's unsure if there are other victims out there, but if there are, he's encouraging them to reach out.
"If there are any victims out there, please reach out to the South Fayette Police Department so we can investigate those incidents also," said Phoennik. "I'm here to say, it's nothing to be shameful about. The two individuals that came forward to us kept it a secret amongst themselves many years and when they spoke and had the same experience, they both got together and reported it. There's strength in numbers when you report it."
Wolstoncroft is behind bars at the Washington County Jail. His bail is set at $250,000.
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