LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania State Police have announced they have made an arrest in connection to a Lancaster County sexual assault case from 1997.
Back on April 4, 1997, PSP responded to West Newport Road in Leacock Township, Lancaster County for a sexual assault investigation. Troopers said that the investigation revealed that a man approached two children near their residence and allegedly performed sex acts on them on the side of the road before fleeing.
Troopers say that the suspect fled the scene in a light blue work van. During the investigation, physical evidence and DNA were collected and continuously searched through police databases for possible matches, but the attempts were unsuccessful throughout the years to match it with a suspect.
State Police then said that DNA evidence from the case was sent in for testing back in 2022 in an attempt to make a genealogical profile to assist in identifying a suspect. Because of this, State Police say the suspect was identified as 54-year-old Eric Dorwart of Manheim Township.
State Police say that along with DNA testing, they were able to identify Dorwart as a suspect due to his age and matching the physical description that the victims provided back in 1997.
On Aug. 15, 2023, Troopers stated that Dorwart was taken into custody without incident and arraigned on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, and corruption of minors. Dorwart was given $25,000 nonmonetary bail and was released pending a preliminary hearing.
Anyone who may have additional information relative to this investigation is asked to contact the Criminal Investigation Unit at the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop J, Lancaster Station at 717-299-7650.