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West Newton foster father faces child sex charges

A West Newton foster parent is accused of sexually assaulting an intellectually disabled teenage boy.

Len Schneider, 72, of North Second Street was arraigned Thursday by Magisterial District Judge Charles Christner in West Newton.

Westmoreland County detectives charged Schneider with two counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse-person with mental disability, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse-person less than 16 years of age, aggravated indecent assault-complainant suffers mental disability and aggravated indecent assault-complainant less than 16, and a single count of endangering the welfare of children-parent or guardian commits offense.

The alleged assaults took place over a three-year period beginning in 2010.

On Oct. 8, the alleged victim was interviewed at A Child’s Place at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh, Westmoreland County Detective Robert Weaver wrote in an affidavit of probable cause.

“The victim disclosed that (Schneider) had touched him inside his underpants,” the affidavit states.

The victim claimed Schneider sexually assaulted him more than once at two North Second Street locations.

Eight days later, Schneider, while being interviewed at his residence, told Weaver the victim was 13 or 14 at the time and would lie with him and back up and push against him while watching TV.

Schneider said it happened at least once a week.

Schneider never stopped the victim or told the victim what he was doing was wrong, the affidavit states. Schneider allegedly said he let it continue “so that he could find out if the victim was gay.”

Schneider allegedly told Weaver the alleged victim functions at the level of a child age 5 or 6 and that the alleged victim would not be capable of making up such a story. Schneider contends all children are promiscuous, the affidavit states.

According to a criminal complaint, Schneider and the victim frequently played a game in which Schneider asked, “What would you trade for the car?” The alleged victim would make offers, and Schneider would turn him down until the victim allegedly made motions Schneider perceived to mean he wanted to have sex.

Schneider was placed in Westmoreland County Prison in Hempfield in lieu of $10,000 straight cash bond.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or 724-684-2667.


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