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No Contest Plea for Glastonbury Couple Accused of Sexually Assaulting Adopted Children

George Harasz and Douglas Wirth pleaded no contest to charges of risk of injury in Hartford Superior Court Friday.

 

Two Glastonbury men who were initially facing charges of sexually assaulting their adopted children pleaded no contest in Superior Court Friday to lesser charges of risk of injury to a minor and will likely avoid jail time.

George Harasz and Douglas Wirth, of Glastonbury, pleaded no contest in Hartford Superior Court on Friday, Jan. 4, to a single count each of risk of injury to a minor under a plea agreement with the state. Under the agreement, both men will receive suspended sentences and serve no jail time.

During a sentencing on March 8 Judge Joan Alexander will decide whether the men will have to register as sex offenders.

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Harasz and Wirth were first arrested in November 2011, after allegations surfaced that the married couple had abused two of their nine adopted children. The boys were 5 and 15 years old at the time, according to their court affidavits.

The warrants for the couple’s arrest allege that the boys were touched inappropriately, sexually assaulted, and physically abused. Some of the alleged abuse included forced labor, beatings, being physically restrained and being forced to sleep in closets.

The men adopted nine boys through the Department of Children and Families beginning in 2000. They received two waivers from DCF to exceed the limit for adopted children in one household, first in 2006 and then in 2008.

The boys were removed from Harasz and Wirth’s home after the investigation began in February 2011.

Though the plea bargain drew criticism during its presentation Friday, state prosecutor David Zagaja said that the allegations would have been difficult to prove due to a lack of forensic evidence.

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