During Lancaster Courthouse Press Conference, McSwain Highlights Recent Local Cases Pursued by the Justice Department in Lancaster County
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that Gregory Dow, 60, of Lancaster, PA was arrested and charged by Indictment with four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place. In a news conference at the Lancaster County Courthouse, U.S. Attorney McSwain discussed the charges in the Dow Indictment and also highlighted broader efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to protect the residents of Lancaster County.
The Indictment alleges that from on or about October 14, 2013, until on or about September 13, 2017, the defendant engaged in, and attempted to engage in, illicit sexual conduct with four different minor victims in Kenya. The defendant allegedly traveled from Lancaster County to Kenya in 2008 and started what came to be known as the Dow Family Children’s Home. He did so with the financial support of his church and other organizations. The defendant purported to be a Christian missionary who would care for these orphans, who called him “Dad.” But instead of being a father figure to them, he allegedly preyed on their youth and their vulnerability. The orphanage closed in September 2017, and the defendant now stands accused of sexually abusing at least four minor girls who lived there during that time.
U.S. Attorney McSwain also discussed recent Lancaster criminal and civil cases handled by his Office, many of which his Office adopted in collaboration with the local authorities who originally investigated the crimes.
The criminal cases include: a knifepoint carjacking in Lancaster by a Harrisburg, PA man, Suudimon Washington; the alleged attempted robbery of Smithgall’s Pharmacy in Lancaster by four men, Lamar Black, Brandon Galette, Andrew Garrett, and Johnny Straining; the alleged arson of Lancaster City Hall by Dwain London and Patrick Baker; and the alleged illegal possession of a stockpile of 27 firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon living in Lancaster, Tyshaun Williams.
The civil cases include: a civil action against Miller’s Organic Farm of Bird-in-Hand, PA to compel the owner to comply with the federal government’s basic food safety laws and regulations, and a settlement agreement with Lancaster General Hospital’s Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine resolving allegations of false claims submitted to Medicare for reports on obstetric ultrasounds that were significantly delayed.
“All of these cases tell a story about my Office working to bring justice to every corner of our District – from Philadelphia, to the Lehigh Valley, to right here in Lancaster,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “I am committed to bringing the resources of my Office here to help ensure that the people of Lancaster can live in safety and security. We will hold lawbreakers accountable using all of the tools at our disposal.”
The Dow case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
The Dow case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Lancaster City Bureau of Police and the East Hempfield Township Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Stengel of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Department of Justice Trial Attorneys Lauren Britsch and Lauren Kupersmith of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).
An Indictment, Information, or Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.