LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Manheim Township man will serve up to 63 years in prison for sexually abusing two pre-teenage girls for several years.
The sentence ordered Friday for 47-year-old Geoffrey Bussard came a year after he pleaded guilty to endangering a 3-year-old daughter who drowned in a backyard pool in 2017.
Bussard was ordered to serve 29.5 to 63 years for abusing the girls, who are best friends. The abuse began in 2006 when one girl was 5 years old and continued until 2013, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said Bussard told one of the girls that the abuse was a way of showing love.
Bussard was convicted in October on 18 charges. As part of his sentence, he must register his whereabouts with state police for the rest of his life. He also must pay about $2,500 in restitution.
He pleaded guilty in February 2019 to a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child regarding his daughter’s drowning and was sentenced to five years probation. The child wandered out of a Farmstead Lane home and into the family’s swimming pool while Bussard and the girl’s mother were asleep.
Authorities said the girl was in the pool for over an hour before she was found. They said the parents installed an alarm on a rear door because the girl tended to wander, but the batteries were removed at some point because the parents became annoyed by the sound.
Police also found evidence of ongoing drug use and said the home was uninhabitable. They said boxes, clothing, and trash cluttered every room, dog feces was all over the living room carpet, and the house was filled with the odor of urine and fecal matter.
Susie L. Rehm, the girl’s mother, pleaded guilty to felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. She was ordered to serve 1 to 2 years in prison followed by four years of probation.