Ex-volunteer firefighter accused of luring, raping children

This undated photo provided by the Delaware County District Attorney shows John Corcoran. Corcoran, a former suburban Philadelphia volunteer firefighter, was arraigned Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, on charges he lured, groomed and sexual assaulted 14 children ranging in age from 8 to 14 years old. (AP Photo/Delaware County District Attorney)

MEDIA, Pa. (AP) — A former volunteer firefighter already charged with arson faces new allegations he lured children with toys and money and sexually assaulted them.

Twenty-year-old John Corcoran IV molested more than a dozen children at his home, at a YMCA locker room and on bonfires outside a historical site, authorities said.

“(He) lured these vulnerable children under the guise of his friendship and then exploited them with the promise of gifts only to then sexually exploit and abuse them,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said.

Corcoran, of Glenolden, has been in jail since August on the arson charges, in which he’s accused of torching three abandoned buildings before arriving on scene to help fight them, and couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. A defense lawyer did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The new allegations surfaced after a mother found her child in possession of pornography. Her child said it came from Corcoran and accused him of sexual abuse. The investigation led to 13 other children, ages 8 to 14, who said they were abused.

Prosecutors said the grooming and sexual assaults happened over the last two years. Corcoran was arraigned Friday on 161 new charges, including felony rape of a child. It was unclear if he entered a plea.

Michael Ranck, president of the Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County, said Corcoran was a member of the Ridley facility but did not work there. He said his staff was cooperating in the investigation and voiced concern for the victims’ well-being.

Corcoran had volunteered with Glenolden’s Goodwill Fire Department. The arson case is set for trial next month.


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