Glastonbury, Connecticut gay couple George Harasz and Douglas Wirth have chosen to stand trial over child abuse allegations in order to clear their names.
Harasz and Wirth had been raising nine adopted boys alongside two of Harasz’ own biological children with their mother when two of the boys, aged 5 and 15 alleged that they had been abused by the men.
The other children in the home deny that abuse took place but following the allegations all were removed from the couple’s care.
The couple initially agreed to a plea bargain deal from prosecutors which would have seen both given suspended sentences.
However during the trial one of the boys made new and more severe allegations which would had lead to further charges against the men if proven so the men withdrew from the deal and elected to go to trial.
The boy now alleges that he was held down by the couple and raped and that they used a weapon against him, something that the judge hearing the case described as ‘dramatically different and more extreme.’
‘In the interest of justice, the facts must be shown and must be shown publicly,’ Judge Joan K Alexander told the court.
The boys’ biological brother Carlos, who was also in the couple’s care, spoke in court to deny that abuse had occurred in the home.
‘Nothing ever happened,’ Carlos said. ‘[The Department of Children and Families] was played by my brothers.’
Carlos said that the couple had given the three of them a ‘normal painless life’ after years of being neglected by their mother and foster carers and questioned why it had taken three complaints to see them removed from their mother’s care but only ‘one statement from a disturbed kid to kill the souls of Doug and George.’
Carlos accused the department and police of taking ‘the word of an angry, damaged, disturbed boy and destroyed a family.’
Harasz’ biological son and daughter also spoke to deny that abuse had occurred in the home.
Prosecutor David Zagaja told The Hartford Courant that due to the difficulty of proving the charges, a plea deal had been appropriate, but the new accusations warranted a trial.
The couple’s lawyer, Hubert J Santos agreed.
‘This case needs to be tried so these men can clear their names.’
The couple had previously been featured in the newspaper in 2010 for their work raising their eleven children and the 23 dogs they were raising in to help their children adjust to a stable home environment.