News

Milton Hershey School houseparent charged

Written by Staff Report/Lebanon Daily News and The Associated Press | May 23, 2016 6:15 AM
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FILE PHOTO: A student walks past one of the Agriculture and Environmental Education buildings on the campus of the Milton S. Hershey School in Hershey. (AP Photo/Chris Knight)

(Hershey) -- A Palmyra man serving as a houseparent at Milton Hershey School was charged with corruption of minors after being accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl, according to an ABC 27 News report.

Randy Lee Fies II, 34, turned himself in to police, and has since been fired by the school, according to the report.

Fies, who waived his preliminary hearing, was arraigned before District Judge Dominic Pelino, and is due back in the Dauphin County Courthouse June 17 for his formal arraignment, according to his criminal docket information.

A case of indecent assault by another houseparent at the school, 41-year-old Fernando Zagaceta, occurred in July 2015.

Zagaceta was charged with indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child, according to court records cited in a July 14, 2015 article in the Lebanon Daily News.

An 8-year-old girl made allegations that Zagaceta had touched her inappropriately while she was sleeping over at another student home, and told authorities that he touched her arm first before pulling her pants down and touching her sexually, the article said.

The girl informed her own house parents of the incident the next morning before going to police, according to the article.

Zagaceta admitted to being in the girl's room to check on her during the night, and stated that he touched her arm or hand to see if she was asleep, but couldn't remember if he touched her legs or removed her blanket according to police at the time of the investigation, the article said.

The school's vice president, Lisa Scullin, issued a written statement saying Zagaceta had been removed from the campus and that his behavior was "reprehensible and unacceptable," the article said.

Zagaceta was arraigned and released on $50,000 unsecured bail in July, and the case is currently in the Court of Common Pleas with the next court date scheduled for June 9.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and the Lebanon Daily News.

Below is an earlier version from The Associated Press:

(Hershey) -- Authorities say a houseparent at the Milton Hershey School in Dauphin County has been charged with inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl.

34-year-old Randy Fies has been charged with corrupting minors.

The school says he has been fired and in a statement, adds  it contacted authorities immediately after becoming aware of the allegation and is cooperating with law enforcement.

The Palmyra man waived his preliminary hearing.

A formal arraignment is scheduled next month. 

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