Log In

Reset Password

Macungie man charged in alleged indecent assault

A Macungie man is charged in an alleged indecent assault of a teen at a retailer in Lower Macungie Township in late May, according to a news release from the office of the Lehigh County District Attorney.

Jared Matthew Gerhard, 30, faces charges of alleged unlawful contact with a minor, sexual offenses, a third degree felony and indecent assault without consent of another, a misdemeanor of the second degree, according to a news release dated May 28 as well as in court documents.

According to authorities, Gerhard, who has worked as a substitute teacher in various Lehigh County schools, was arraigned May 24 and was released on $35,000 bail.

Gerhard also allegedly fled the store, leading police on a brief chase.

A criminal complaint and news release provided by authorities details the incident as follows:

Pennsylvania State Police troopers from the Fogelsville station were called to a retailer in the 3900 block of Hamilton Boulevard around 5:33 p.m. May 24.

A male suspect had allegedly indecently assaulted a 17-year-old girl and was seen running from the store. The suspect was described as wearing a black T-shirt and light shorts. He also was described as having black hair.

Once at the scene, a trooper reported seeing a black sedan with a suspect motorist fitting the description driving through the store parking lot “at a high rate of speed toward Lower Macungie Road.” The vehicle headed south on Lower Macungie Road, turning right on Mill Creek Road, still at “an excessive rate of speed,” according to authorities.

State police pulled the vehicle over in a traffic stop.

The suspect, who had black hair, was described by authorities as “profusely sweating” with scrapes on his left elbow and a scratch on his right hand. He was also in light shorts and black T-shirt. The suspect was identified as Gerhard.

Investigators spoke with a 17-year-old girl at the store who told police a male approached her at the store and lifted his shirt to show his abdomen. The teen later felt a hand grope her from behind while she was standing with her family. She saw the same male hiding among clothing racks in the area. She screamed and the male, later identified as Gerhard, ran from the area.

A witness tried to stop the person who was fleeing; however, the person pulled away and ran from the store, allegedly carrying clothing on hangars and a mushroom shaped toy.

The clothing and toy were later seen on a seat of the vehicle allegedly driven by Gerhard, according to authorities.

Anyone who has information about this or similar incidents may contact Pennsylvania State Police Fogelsville at 610-395-1438.