JOHNSTOWN - A city police officer has been arrested and charged with rape, authorities said.
Adam Schwabrow, 32, who is also Montgomery County's emergency management director and the chief of the Mohawk Volunteer Fire Department, was arrested Thursday and charged with third-degree rape, commonly known as statutory rape, a class E felony. If convicted of the alleged crime, Schwabrow faces the possibility of one-an-a-third to four years in prison.
Schwabrow as arraigned in front of Fulton County Judge Polly Hoye, and he was released after posting a $5,000 cash bail.
District Attorney Louise Sira said the alleged incident involved a 16-year-old girl. She said there has been no allegation of forced sexual contact with the girl, which would have raised the charge to first-degree rape. Sira said the girl was under the age of 17 at the time of the alleged crime and therefore unable to legally give consent to the sexual contact.
Johnstown Police Chief Mark Gifford said the police first became aware of the alleged crime earlier this week. He said Schwabrow, a 9-year-veteran of the police department, has been placed on paid suspension. Gifford called it an "embarrassing day" for his department.
John Thayer, the chairman of the Montgomery County Supervisors, said he was saddened by the arrest of Schwabrow in a news release Friday afternoon. Thayer said Schwabrow has been placed on paid administrative leave from his emergency management director post "pending more information and future developments" in the case. Thayer said, "Interim Deputy Director Rick Sager has been placed in charge of the Emergency Management Office until further notice."
More information about this story will be in Saturday's edition.