Former CYS board member sentenced to prison

June 20, 2014
John Robert Lohr, being escorted from his preliminary hearing in September, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison Friday for sexually assaulting a young boy placed in his care. - Tara Kinsell / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

WAYNESBURG – John Robert Lohr, 57, a former Greene County Children and Youth Services Advisory Board member, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison Friday on charges he sexually assaulted a young boy in his care over a four-year period beginning in 2009.

Lohr pleaded guilty Feb. 28 to amended felony charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of a minor and indecent assault of a minor under 16 years of age.

Charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with forcible compulsion and rape with forcible compulsion were withdrawn by the commonwealth in exchange for Lohr changing his original plea from not guilty to guilty on the remaining charges.

When given the opportunity to address the court, Lohr said he was deeply, sincerely and truly sorry and accepted full responsibility.

Apparently speaking to the victim, Lohr said, “Please try to forgive me. I wish so much that this didn’t happen and I pray you will forgive me.”

Lohr told Judge William Nalitz this was his only experience with the judicial system and asked the judge to be as fair and lenient as possible.

At his plea hearing, Lohr said the boy was placed with him and his wife by Greene County CYS when he was 4 years old. According to the criminal complaint, Lohr began sexually abusing the boy when he was 9 years old.

Nalitz said Lohr was determined not to be a sexually violent predator, but he will be required to register under Megan’s Law as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

On Aug. 22, 2013, Lohr was extradited from North Central Regional jail in Marion County, W.Va., based on a fugitive warrant.

He was confronted by family members Aug. 18 with allegations of sexually assaulting the boy. A day later, Lohr was found unconscious by park rangers at Ohiopyle State Park inside a van with a hose running from its tailpipe into the interior.

Lohr was arrested Aug. 29 at the behavioral medicine unit in Fairmont (W.Va.) General Hospital.

At the end of Friday’s court appearance, Lohr was remanded back into the custody of Greene County sheriff’s deputies to be taken to Pittsburgh to determine the site of his incarceration.

Jon Stevens was the Observer-Reporter’s Greene County bureau chief. During his 41 years with the O-R, he covered county government, courts and politics, and won statewide and regional writing awards.

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