The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 26, 2013

Ex-school board member pleads guilty to corruption

Patrick Buchnowski
pbuchnowski@tribdem.com

SOMERSET — A former school board member and church deacon pleaded guilty Friday in Somerset County court to corruption of minors.

Brian Scott Eppley, 57, of Davidsville, entered the plea to corruption of minors in four cases before President Judge John Cascio.

He also pleaded guilty to unlawful contact with a minor in another case, authorities said.

Eppley is a former school board member in Conemaugh Township Area School District and a former deacon at Maple Spring Church of the Brethren near Jerome.

Township police accused Eppley of having improper contact with five juveniles.

At least two of the incidents took place at the church between 2009 and 2012.

Police said Eppley instructed an underage boy to meet him in an unoccupied room of the church on several occasions and forced the boy to remove his shoes and place his feet on Eppley’s lap.

The boy told police this happened every month for two or three years.

Eppley allegedly instructed another underage boy to meet him in an unoccupied room of the church and forced that child to remove his shoes and place his feet in Eppley’s face.

Eppley also traced the feet of that boy, police said.

Similar incidents took place at various locations from 2007 through 2012 at the Connumach Lions Club community building and Conemaugh Historical Society on Main Street in Davidsville.

“It was a difficult case when you have this many people and families and communities involved,” District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said. “I think it was an appropriate disposition (of the case).

Eppley resigned from the school board after the charges were filed and was banned from school district property, although none of the incidents took place there.

He also was banned from church property.

Eppley is free on bond until his sentencing, which is scheduled for July 11.

He is represented by Somerset attorney Joseph Policicchio.

 

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