BRENTWOOD (KDKA) — A volunteer firefighter in Brentwood accused of sexually assaulting two boys has been released from the Allegheny County Jail.

Jerome Kirsch, Jr., 40, spoke exclusively KDKA-TV’s Stephanie Watson as he left the jail.

“I am innocent of the charges brought against me,” he said. “This is nothing more I feel in retaliation to me going after full custody of my children and the mother trying to stop me in every way shape or form that she can to prevent me from doing it.”

“How convenient that all of a sudden this comes out five years later when she had supposedly known about this and she never made any issues about it four, five years ago,” Kirsch added.

His family told KDKA-TV they think the accusations are a vindictive act over a custody issue.

The first victim is the son of his ex-girlfriend and the second alleged victim is her son’s friend.

“Know that he could swear on a stack of bibles – we know he’s innocent,” Lynne Kirsch, the suspect’s stepmother, said. “We’re going to do our best to prove his innocence.”

The family says Kirsch had two children with his ex-girlfriend who filed these charges previously and brought them back up again over a custody issue.

“They came back unfounded and then she wasn’t satisfied with that and it seems that ever since that he was granted visitation rights, then we got more charges filed,” Lynne Kirsch said.

Allegheny County Police arrested Kirsch and charged him with endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, involuntary deviant sexual assault, criminal solicitation, indecent assault and indecent exposure.

“What adds a lot of credibility to this is the two had not seen each other for a while and they in fact aren’t really friends at this point, but once we were able to contact him, he came forward also with the stories that were similar to those with the first victim had stated,” Allegheny County Police Lt. Jeff Korczyk said.

Kirsch has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday in Elizabeth.

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