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Search and Rescue Volunteers Accused of Sexually Abusing a MinorSalem-News.com
Mr. Wenger became a volunteer for the Sheriff's Office in 1994 when he joined the "Team 18" Search and Rescue Program. Mrs. Wenger joined the program as a volunteer in 2003. The "Team 18" program is a non-profit organization, primarily comprised of juveniles..
(SALEM) - On Monday, March 17, 2014, the Marion County Sheriff's Office received a complaint that two of its Search and Rescue volunteers had engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old volunteer. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Sheriff's Office asked the Keizer Police Department to conduct an investigation of the allegations.
On March 20, 2014, the Keizer Police Department arrested Casey Wenger, age 33 and his wife Rosa Wenger, age 31. Mr. Wenger is charged with Sex Abuse II and 30 counts of Encouraging Child Sex Abuse I. Ms. Wenger is charged with Sex Abuse III and 20 counts of Encouraging Child Sex Abuse I. Both are being held at the Marion County Jail and will be arraigned on March 21st at 3:00 p.m. The Wengers have been terminated as Marion County volunteers, effective immediately.
In response to numerous questions, the Sheriff's Office would like to provide additional information in regard to the Wenger's responsibilities with our Search and Rescue Program. First, we would like the media to understand that this is an ongoing investigation and some of the information requested will not be released, as we do not want to compromise the investigation.
Mr. Wenger became a volunteer for the Sheriff's Office in 1994 when he joined the "Team 18" Search and Rescue Program. Mrs. Wenger joined the program as a volunteer in 2003. The "Team 18" program is a non-profit organization, primarily comprised of juveniles that perform search and rescue functions for the Sheriff's Office. Mr. and Mrs. Wenger were crew leaders of the Search and Rescue's "Team 18." The Team currently has 57 volunteers who are available for assisting other Search and Rescue Teams in ground searches for missing persons, evidence of crimes, and other related missions.
As part of their duties, the Wengers trained "Team 18" members and arranged for their deployment in a time of need or crisis. The Sheriff's Office is shocked and disheartened by the Wengers' alleged actions. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim in this case. The Sheriff's Office is committed to providing a safe environment for all of its youth-related programs.
Sheriff Myers commented, "Individuals' personal actions like this undermine the public's trust and confidence placed in our office. The moment this was reported, we took action to ensure that the individuals would be held responsible and that those within the Team 18 program would be safe." Sheriff Myers further stated that, "Our goal now is to focus on the members of Team 18 who are obviously just as shocked and upset as we are."
We will continue to work with the Keizer Police Department and their investigators during this criminal investigation. At this time, the Sheriff's Office is not prepared for any further comment or questions.
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