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DA: Investigation progressing in Bible Baptist sex abuse case - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

DA: Investigation progressing in Bible Baptist sex abuse case

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SHIREMANSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -

Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed says the initial stages of an investigation into alleged child sexual abuse at Bible Baptist School in Shiremanstown should be complete within a week.

In a joint news release Friday from the district attorney and the Shiremanstown Police Department, Freed said investigators have searched certain portions of Bible Baptist School, seized at least six electronic devices, and have conducted numerous personal interviews.

"I am pleased with the progress of the investigation," Freed said in the release. "The investigators are working diligently and covering a lot of ground. Based on the nature of this case, our investigators are working hard to identify and interview the universe of potential victims."

"I understand and appreciate the public's interest in this matter," he added. "I want to stress that it is our duty as law enforcement officials to ensure the integrity of the investigation and ensure that any criminal charges are supported by strong evidence."

Prosecutors have executed at least three search warrants as part of the ongoing investigation into a former music teacher, 57-year-old Bill Jackson.

Jackson was suspended after the allegations came to light, but he has not been charged with any crime. Search warrants filed this week indicate he is accused of fondling at least two boys at the school.

In one search warrant executed Saturday on Jackson's New Cumberland home, police said the parents of a 17-year-old boy showed investigators 19 pages of inappropriate emails, text messages and instant messages between Jackson and their son.

The boy also told police that two years ago, Jackson fondled him in a music room at the school, the documents state.

According to a second search warrant executed Tuesday on Jackson's former music room and office at Bible Baptist, police interviewed a second 17-year-old who told them he was fondled by Jackson "2-3 times beginning in February."

The teen also said Jackson once asked him to masturbate in front of his, but he refused.

A third search warrant was for three of Jackson's email accounts.

Jackson told abc27 News earlier in the week that he cannot comment until he retains an attorney.

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