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CLEARFIELD – An Amish couple is facing serious charges for the alleged sexual assaults of their six daughters that happened at their Bell Township home for over a decade.
Wallace J. Schmucker, 54, has been charged by the Punxsutawney-based state police with two felony counts of aggravated indecent assault/complainant less than 16 years and multiple felony counts of endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors, plus related offenses. His bail is $250,000.
His wife, Sarah A. Schmucker, 52, has been charged with four felony counts of endangering the welfare of children. She’s currently free on $25,000 unsecured bail.
The Schmucker’s waived their rights to preliminary hearings Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on July 13, a report was made of suspected child abuse to ChildLine and Clearfield County Children & Youth Services. Specifically, it was regarding allegations of sexual molestation made by a group of biological sisters against their father.
State police investigators arranged for interviews with three of the Schmucker’s daughters who are now adults. Troopers were also present for the forensic interviews with the Schmucker’s three minor daughters.
The couple’s oldest of eight daughters who is now 27 said that in September of 2004, she was in their kitchen when her father asked her if he could “touch” her. He allegedly lifted her dress and inappropriately touched her for a period of time.
She said Schmucker was 40 years old at the time of the first incident, and about one month later, he “dropped his pants” in her presence and exposed his private area.
The couple’s second-oldest daughter, now 25, said her father assaulted her in the washroom of their home when she was 13. He allegedly pulled her dress up and touched her inappropriately for about 15 minutes.
She said it made her feel “sad” to think her own father would do something like that. When this happened to her, she said Schmucker was between 41 and 43 years old, and that he touched her a total of six or seven times until she turned 15 years old.
She told troopers the assaults occurred in the washroom, basement and kitchen areas. She also said her father liked to watch his daughters shower, and he exposed his private area to her at least two times.
The third-oldest daughter, now 24, said that in the summer or fall in 2008 when she was 14, her father inappropriately touched her over clothing after she used the restroom. She said he did this again in a similar fashion, and there was possibly a year between the two incidents.
She told troopers her father stopped touching her after she turned 16 years old. When these incidents happened to her, she said her father was between 44 and 46 years old.
The couple’s then 17-year-old daughter was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center of Clearfield County. She alleged that her father first molested her in his bedroom when she was 14 or 15 years old.
She said he inappropriately touched her multiple times until he was burned in a fire Jan. 1, 2016, and these incidents happened to her in various areas of their home. She said on at least one occasion, Schmucker touched his private area underneath his clothing.
She told troopers her father was between 51 and 52 years old when these incidents happened to her.
During an interview July 20, Schmucker reportedly told investigating troopers that his daughters wouldn’t lie, and he admitted to engaging in the described conduct.
Troopers also interviewed Schmucker’s wife, Sarah, the biological mother of the victims. She said in 2004, one of her daughters admitted that her husband touched her inappropriately to which she responded these touchings weren’t for unmarried people and it wasn’t supposed to happen to her.
However, Sarah Schmucker didn’t take any action to protect her daughter or the other children from her husband after being made aware of these allegations, according to the affidavit.
She also reportedly admitted she became suspicious that her husband was molesting another daughter. Though she couldn’t recall if she spoke to her daughter about it, Sarah Schmucker did say she confronted her husband and he admitted to the allegations.
She said they agreed she would help him pray to “control himself” in the future. But in 2015, she said one of her daughters told her that Schmucker had tried to molest her.
Sarah Schmucker reportedly told her daughter that: “if he tries again, you’re going to tell the church elders.” She said she didn’t confront her husband or protect her daughter, because she was under the impression he did “nothing more than try.”
When troopers asked what she thought of these incidents between her husband and their children, Sarah Schmucker said: “other than those little incidents, I’d say we had a pretty good life.”