Three men charged with helping Charleroi area girls leave foster home

The five girls were missing for about 18 hours Wednesday

May 15, 2014

Three men, including a North Charleroi teenager, are accused of taking five Charleroi area girls from their foster home in Westmoreland County early Wednesday morning and driving them to Cumberland, Md., in a van before dropping them off in Uniontown later that night.

The five girls, four of whom are sisters ranging in age from 7 to 17, willingly left their foster home in Unity Township about 1:30 a.m. with Erik Sean-Michael Spaziani, 18, North Charleroi, Joseph Sickler, 41, of Pittsburgh, and Jacques Johns Jr., 18, of Uniontown, state police said.

Police said the three men knew the girls and made arrangements before to be picked up at the foster home. They left together and traveled to Maryland early in the morning while looking for a motel room, but later slept in the van while parked in Fayette County.

The fours sisters and one infant were gone for nearly 18 hours after spending most of the day with the three men and were dropped off near the Uniontown Police Department. Three of those girls, Danielle Dainty, 14, Cassie Dainty, 11, Hannah Dainty, 7, turned themselves into police about 8 p.m. Wednesday upon learning that authorities were searching for them.

Brittney Dainty, 17, and her infant daughter, Neveah, went to a home at 64 Lenox St. in Uniontown with Spaziani and Sickler, police said.

Police said they spotted Sickler walking away from the house and arrested him. Troopers said they found Spaziani and the two girls inside. Johns turned himself into authorities Thursday morning, police said.

Spaziani, Sickler and Johns Jr. all face five felony counts each of interference with child custody, conspiracy and concealment of a child’s whereabouts. All three were arraigned on the charges and taken to the Fayette County jail after they were unable to post $25,000 cash bond.

A preliminary hearing before District Judge Michael Metros of Uniontown is scheduled for Tuesday.

The five girls, who are from the Charleroi area, were returned Wednesday night to the custody of Washington County Children & Youth Services.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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