Police: Man Picked Up 17-year-old Rehab Runaway, Offered Beer Then Took Off Clothes

September 20, 2018

A man who told police he’s a lawyer picked up a 17-year-old runaway from an addiction treatment facility earlier this month in Scranton, gave him beer and Xanax and then tried to make a sexual pass at him, city detectives charged.

Gregory Gennett, 60, 1102 Pierce St., Scranton, was charged with corruption of minors, indecent exposure and giving a minor alcohol, Detective Jeff Gilroy said in a criminal complaint.

Detectives interviewed Gennett on Sept. 9. He admitted giving the teenager alcohol but denied giving him Xanax or making any kind of sexual advance.

On the night of Sept. 3, Gennett came across the teenager in front of a convenient store and asked why he was standing in the rain next to luggage, police said. The teen had just fled from a treatment facility in Nicholson and explained he had no place to go.

Gennett invited him over to his Pierce Street home.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

Gennett asked how old the boy was and the boy initially agreed with Gennett’s guess of 20 or 22. Later, police said, the boy showed Gennet his 2017-18 student identification card that identified him as a junior at an Ohio high school. Gennett acknowledged during his police interview that he saw the teen’s identification card and photographed it.

At Gennett’s home, he offered the teen beer and Xanax. The teen drank eight bottles of Killian’s Irish Red and took two pills, the victim told police.

Gennett said he though the cause of the boy’s addiction issues stemmed from repressed bisexuality and suggested he needed to come out. The boy felt uncomfortable and asked to use the phone.

The boy called his mother in Ohio and got the number for the treatment facility’s van service. He reached a van driver, who instructed him to walk to a nearby sober home the facility operates.

The teen told Gennett he wanted to go to sleep, hoping he would be left alone and would get the opportunity to leave unharmed. After 10 minutes, Gennett approached him with no clothes on and tried to kiss him. The teen swung a beer bottle at him and fled from the home with his bags.

During his interview, Gennett told Gilroy he is an attorney and would like to keep his record clean. Neither the complaint nor the police report did not specify where he practices law, but Police Chief Carl Graziano said that the report reflects Gennett’s phone number has a Florida area code.

Bail and preliminary hearing information were not available.

Contact the writer: jkohut@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9144; @jkohutTT on Twitter

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