According to charges filed in court by the local District Attorney's office, Schragger allegedly raped a 9-year-old and a 14-year-old, along with other sexual crimes against minors. The charges filed include rape, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and indecent assault. A total of approximately eight children are said to be victims of the alleged crimes. Court documents indicate that Schragger was arrested in September after a state police investigation for these alleged crimes, and for accusations of sitting naked with children in a Jacuzzi tub.
An article in Morning Call, a Lehigh Valley newspaper, says that the District Attorney's allegations cover a period from June 1999 through August 2003. Schragger was arrested, released on US$200,000 bail, and then re-arrested with a higher bail amount of US$10 million. Schragger's attorney, John Waldron, says the higher bail amount is unfair to his client and charges that the court had no right to rescind the earlier bail amount. Waldron also accuses the police of a seizure of computer equipment that was "overly broad", because no charges have been filed relating to computer crime. Waldron says that the activities at which Schragger allegedly committed the assaults were no secret gatherings, but rather were open to parents and children alike.
A spokesman for local authorities said that the Society for Creative Anachronism is cooperating with police, and that at this time no charges are pending against other SCA members related to this case.
Lord Derek Fairhair (mka Paul Zona), Seneschal of the Shire of Eisental, is quoted by Morning Call stating that no one in the Shire knew of improper conduct by Schragger. "'Believe me, if anybody had thought anything like that was happening, action would have been taken, I'm sure,'' he said.
Within the SCA, Lord Ben the Steward is a recipient of the Award of Arms and the Order of the Silver Crescent, the latter being an East Kingdom award for service.
SCAtoday.net is currently trying to reach relevant sources for comment, and will publish one or more followup articles as details become available.
SCAtoday.net staff reporter Karen Larsdatter also contributed to this article.