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Pennsylvania school doc charged with sexual abuse of teens

May 1, 2019
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This photo released by the Lancaster County, Pa., District Attorney's office shows Dr. William R. Vollmar, a Pennsylvania sports medicine doctor. Vollmar, who spent decades working with high school athletes, was charged Wednesday, May 1, 2019, with sexually assaulting five patients, including two minors — one of them in a high school athletic trainer's room. (Lancaster County District Attorney/LNP/LancasterOnline via AP)

A Pennsylvania sports medicine doctor who spent decades working with high school athletes has been charged with sexually assaulting five patients, including two minors — one of them in a high school athletic trainer’s room.

Dr. William Vollmar was charged Wednesday with felony institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and other offenses. He was released on $250,000 bond. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office is prosecuting Vollmar, said the investigation is ongoing, noting that additional victims have come forward.

“I can tell you that the hotline’s been ringing,” he said at a news conference. “We have a lot more to do. Victims are speaking up and sharing their truth.”

A message was left with Vollmar’s attorney, Michael Winters.

Vollmar, 55, of the Lancaster County town of Willow Street, had contracts to work at six school districts, a private school and a college. Prosecutors said he also worked at many district and state athletic competitions over the years and was a member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.

State police charged him last month with touching the penis of a man during a March 14 sports massage. Vollmar asked the patient, “Do you trust me?” before manipulating his genitals, according to court documents. The man stopped Vollmar and ended the massage. Police said Vollmar acknowledged the sexual contact, but claimed he thought the patient “was revealing interest.” He called it “a huge understanding, mostly on my part,” an affidavit said.

Wednesday’s charges involve four additional patients. One of the victims was a 17-year-old student at Conestoga Valley High School, according to charging documents. Vollmar touched the student’s penis on two separate occasions at the high school this year, authorities said.

Vollmar allegedly assaulted another Conestoga student in the 1990s. He returned as Vollmar’s patient in 2016 and 2017, and Vollmar again sexually assaulted him, according to an affidavit.

Vollmar, whose medical license was suspended last month, is “someone who communities and families and victims came to trust over many years of practice,” Shapiro said. “Now we will begin the legal process to hold him fully accountable for his horrendous crimes and assaults on those who were entrusted to his care.”

Conestoga Valley Superintendent Dave Zuilkoski said in a statement that the district severed ties with Vollmar on April 10, when he was first charged, and that the district is cooperating with police and prosecutors.

“I am deeply saddened and extremely shocked by the allegations against a trusted adult who had contact with some of our students. We will continue to do everything we can to provide a safe environment for all of our students,” he said.

A man who alleged Vollmar began abusing him in 1990, when he was 15, filed a lawsuit last week against Vollmar as well as the medical practice where he worked and a hospital. Many other accusers have retained civil lawyers and more litigation is expected.

Vollmar logged nearly 27 years at a medical practice owned by Lancaster County Coroner Stephen G. Diamantoni. Brian Kent, whose firm represents several accusers, said Wednesday that one of his clients said he told Diamantoni many years ago that Vollmar had abused him, but nothing was done.

“It was never reported to any medical board. He was never prevented from being around patients or children. It was never reported to the school districts, at least from what we know now,” Kent said in an interview. Vollmar “continued to work there for years,” he added.

Diamantoni did not respond to email and phone messages seeking comment.