News :: Crime

Gay Couple on Trial for Allegedly Raping Adopted Children

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Apr 9, 2013
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A gay couple from Connecticut accused of repeatedly raping and abusing two of their nine adopted children will soon face trial, the New York Daily News reports.

George Harasz and his husband Douglas Wirth agreed to a plea deal in January and to pleading no contest to one felony count each of risk to injury to a minor. The men were supposed to be sentenced Friday but they withdrew from their agreement with prosecutors. The couple’s attorneys pulled them out of the plea in an attempt to fully clear their names.

If the men went through with the deal, they would have been given suspended prison sentences and probation. But after more allegations surfaced on Friday, prosecutors said they also want to go to trial.

"I think the only proper resolution of this matter is to try it," Prosecutor David Zagaja told the Hartford (Conn.) Courant. Judge Joan Alexander of Hartford Superior Court agreed. Prosecutors initially agreed to accept a plea deal because they had a lack of forensic evidence, which would make it difficult to prove all of the claims.

Harasz, 49, and Wirth, 45, adopted nine children (three sets of male siblings) beginning in 2000. The men also ran a breeding business out of their home called The Puppy Guy. The couple was arrested in Nov. 2011 after a police and state investigation looked into allegations of sex abuse. According to the authorities, two boys, ages 5 and 15, said Harasz sexually assaulted them. Harasz was facing first-degree sexual assault and other charges while Wirth was charged with third-degree sexual assault of the 15-year-old boy.

The couple’s arrest warrants also claimed that the men forced their children to sleep in closets.

It should be noted that the men’s other adopted children told police that they were not abused. The Daily News notes that now three more children have come forward to allege the couple also abused them. There were no new criminal charges brought against the men, however.

One of the children spoke out during court and said he was sexually assaulted since he was 6. "They took turns raping me over and over," he said. "Anyone who would do this to a child is a sick, demented person."

Harasz and Wirth have their share of supporters. One of their children, Carlos Harasz, said the accusers were lying and the abuse they suffered came from other foster parents. Carlos Harasz said that the state Department of Children and Families "took the word of an angry, damaged, disturbed boy and destroyed a family."

Comments

  • Oh Jed said:, 2013-04-09 10:38:02

    OMG this is terrible. I could see a troubled 15-year-old rallying support with sibblings to concoct stories of sexual abuse. However, something seems hinky about 2 people adopting 9 children. If these allegations are true, they’d better get some actual evidence. I hope this didn’t really happen, but either way it’s very damaging news that undermines same-sex families journey to equal acceptance.


  • cc, 2013-04-09 12:23:47

    I agree with the "adopting 9 children". That should ring a bell to authorities. It is really difficult and energy sapping to do a good job just raising 2-3 kids. When a couple is given 9 kids, someone in the system should be taking a closer look at the situation.


  • BlondieSL, 2013-04-09 15:10:40

    It bothers me that they first plead no contest, esp. when the prosecution didn’t have solid forensic evidence. No way to really know for sure if it is true or not. I do know full well that kids DO lie and to that extreme.


  • Unbreakable1, 2013-04-09 15:57:22

    I’m MAD as HELL at these two. One, for pleading No Contest (esp if they are innocent), and secondly if they in fact did this to those children. This could ruin everything for those of us who value family and are trying to adopt. We are at a pivotal point in history and then these two @$&holes allegedly go and do something disgusting like this! Although it would not come as a surprise if the kids are lying about these two men abusing them. It wouldn’t be the first time. Nine kids is just way too many. Who honestly has that many kids anymore!


  • Ian Chai, 2013-04-09 17:27:02

    It’s not unthinkable to have none children in foster care. The system is so short of foster parents


  • firebird, 2013-04-09 19:12:18

    Disgusting men


  • Bob K, 2013-04-09 22:04:42

    THEY TOOK IN 3 FAMILIES -- they did not go find 9 separate kids


  • Bomonghani, 2013-04-10 00:50:44

    sadly, people who are innocent often cop a plea for fear of being found guilty of a crime they didn’t commit. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not saying that they are innocent... but it happens a lot... in many states, when it comes to sexual abuse the state doesn’t have to prove guilt, the accused has to prove innocence. Also some states have what is called a rape-shield law, meaning that you can’t bring up someone’s past sexual experience. So along with the burden of proof being on the accused they also can’t educate the jury on the child’s background and how they know about sex.


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