CYS Advisory Board member charged

September 3, 2013
John Robert Lohr

CARMICHAELS – A Cumberland Township man is awaiting extradition from West Virginia for allegations that he forcibly raped a young boy placed in his care by Greene County Children and Youth Services over a period of several years.

A preliminary arraignment has yet to be scheduled before Greene County Magisterial District Judge Lee Watson for John Robert Lohr, 56, of 671 Ceylon Road, Carmichaels, who is vice chairman of the Greene County Children and Youth Services advisory board.

He is charged with rape by forcible compulsion, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age, sexual assault, corruption of minors when the defendant is 18 years of age or older, and indecent assault by forcible compulsion.

Lohr was arrested Aug. 29 by police in West Virginia and placed in the North Central Regional jail in Fairmont, Marion County.

The allegations against Lohr were made Aug. 18 at the state police barracks in Waynesburg. According to a criminal complaint filed by Trooper William Brown, Lohr allegedly held a knife to the boy’s throat, held him down, threw him into a chair, and forced him to participate in sexual acts on numerous occasions from October 2009 to Aug. 14, 2013. The boy told police the attacks occurred at Lohr’s residence and at the Big Bear Lake Campground in Bruceton Mills, W.Va. He said this would happen twice daily when they were at Lohr’s residence.

The boy told Brown that Lohr threatened to kill him and his family members if he told anyone. He alleged that Lohr would give him energy drinks, and on one occasion a little white pill to keep him awake to have sex with him. Police said the boy also alleged Lohr gave him marijuana.

Also Aug. 18, Brown took a sworn statement from Lohr’s wife, Debra L., 58, who said she overheard a conversation between the boy and another youth that made her suspicious.

Debra said she asked a male member of her family to talk to the boy and he told her that he believed something had happened. Debra later confronted her husband, who allegedly confessed committing the acts but denied saying he was going to kill anyone.

Debra told police Lohr asked her to give him an hour before calling the police and Lohr left the residence. She called 911 believing he may be going to commit suicide.

She said she didn’t believe the boy at first but now does believe the abuse happened since her husband admitted to her that it did, according to the complaint.

Karen Bennett, executive director of Greene County Department of Human Services, had no comment when asked about revelations regarding Lohr. A call to Greene Arc Inc. was not returned. Both agencies are under the umbrella of Greene County Human Services. Greene Arc provides programming and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Lohr has been on the board of Greene Arc since 1999 when he was a director of residential services at Laurel House Inc. of Uniontown, a program that offers home placement for the mentally disabled. He is also the vice president of the band booster organization in Carmichaels Area School District.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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