Gay Couple on Trial for Allegedly Raping Adopted Children
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."