LEECHBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Allegheny Township Police say a suspected sexual predator, accused of targeting woman for 20 years, is now behind bars after surrendering to law enforcement officials Friday morning.
Eric Alan Wright, 47, of Leechburg, is facing more than 20 counts, ranging from open lewdness to sexual assault to sexual assault forcible rape. Police say there were multiple warrants out for his arrest.
Police say the investigation began when a possible sexual assault was reported in October 2019.
According to Allegheny Township Police, as officers began looking into the report, “it became clear… that this was not an isolated incident.”
“Children are always the most innocent and trusting members of society and our officers dedicated and committed to making sure those members are protected,” Chief Duane Fisher of the Allegheny Township Police said.
Due to the length of time between the crimes, Fisher told KDKA he believes there are more victims and he is asking them to come forward.
“People that are the victims are humiliated by it, even in some of the lesser where they may not have been touched or assaulted, maybe just exposed. Quite frankly, it’s something they don’t want to talk about or deal with,” Fisher said.
Police say the investigation indicated that Wright allegedly “committed numerous sexually-related crimes against numerous victims.”
Investigators say the alleged crimes happened between the last 15-19 years in the Allegheny Township area. The alleged victims range in age from 12- to 50-years-old.
According to the criminal complaint, one of the alleged victims told police she was assaulted three different times when she was a teenager. Police say the first incident happened when she was 14-years-old.
The criminal complaint reports she was taking a shower and pulled back the shower curtain to allegedly find Wright standing outside. She screamed, alerting her family to the incident.
In a press release, the Allegheny Township Police Department says: “Sexual assaults upon our children are one of the most serious and heinous crimes we investigate. Adults who prey on our young for sexual gratification rob them of their very innocence and trust. We cannot rest until such individuals are detected, arrested, and prosecuted in order to preserve and protect the very future of society.”
Anyone with additional information on Wright, or who maybe a victim that has not come forward, is being urged to call the Allegheny Township Police lead investigator on the case at 724-236-0202.
Wright is in jail on a $500,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 21 at 10:15 a.m.