Two Glastonbury men are under arrest, charged with sexually abusing two of their nine adoptive children.
Police say they launched an investigation in February, after a complaint from the Department of Children and Families, then, a second investigation in August. That resulted in the arrest Wednesday of 48-year old George Harasz and 43-year-old Doug Wirth, both of 185 Williams Street East, Glastonbury.
DCF Commissioner Joette Katz says the nine children were members of three separate sibling groups adopted by the pair between 2001 and 2008. The arrests are based on charges of sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor, and cruelty to persons. The charges against Wirth involve one child; against Harasz, two of the children.
She says she became aware of the situation shortly after becoming commissioner. She says she was horrified at the abuse, and immediately removed the children from the home. Katz, a former Superior Court judge, says she’s limited in what she can say, because of the pending litigation, but does say , “I hope that going forward, we can make horrible incidents like this as rare as humanly possible.”
Commissioner Katz says three different DCF Area Offices and outside agencies assessed the suitability of the household for the adoptions, with the final decision by the Juvenile and Probate Courts. She also points out that the home was licensed by a private adoption agency, which recommended the DCF placements of the children.
Two separate waivers were granted, in 2006 and 2007, to allow the couple to exceed the number of children for which they were licensed. The commissioner says, going forward, such waivers will be granted “only. . . under the strictest of guidelines.”
She also says that future home studies will be required to look into the families of the prospective parents, including any past history of abuse experienced by the prospective parents themselves.