George Harasz, 49, and Douglas Wirth, 45, of Glastonbury, withdrew a deal with prosecutors that would have given them suspended prison sentences and probation, according to reports. The surprise move comes as new allegations by three more adopted children surfaced Friday. The case of a same-sex Connecticut couple accused of repeatedly raping and abusing two of their nine adopted boys is headed for trial.
Married couple George Harasz and Douglas Wirth of Glastonbury were supposed to be sentenced Friday in Hartford Superior Court under a plea deal, but instead withdrew from their agreement with prosecutors. The men had already pleaded no contest in January to one felony count each of risk of injury to a minor — a reduction from even more serious charges related to sexual assault.
But in a surprise turn, the couple’s attorneys pulled them out of the plea in a bid to fully clear their names, according to CBS affiliate WFSB-TV. If Harasz, 49, and Wirth, 45, had continued with the deal, they would have been given suspended prison sentences and probation, WFSB-TV said.
But more allegations came to light Friday in the explosive case, and prosecutors said they also want to go to trial. “I think the only proper resolution of this matter is to try it,” said prosecutor David Zagaja, according to the Hartford Courant.
The couple was arrested in November 2011 following a police and state investigation of sex-abuse allegations. The children were removed from the home.
Police said two boys, ages 5 and 15, accused Harasz of sexually assaulting them. Harasz was initially facing first-degree sexual assault and other charges, while Wirth had been charged with third-degree sexual assault of the 15-year-old boy.
Their arrest warrants claimed the couple not only sexually and physically abused the children, but also forced them to sleep in closets.
Other children in the home told authorities that they weren’t abused, and prosecutors had agreed to a plea deal because they said a lack of forensic evidence would make it difficult to prove all of the allegations.
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