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Former Pa. fire chief pleads guilty to assaulting 14-year-old junior firefighter

Kevin Mains Jr. was sentenced to one to four years in prison


Photo/Strong Fire Company

By Justin Strawser
The Daily Item

SUNBURY, Pa. — A former fire chief from Mount Carmel will spend the next 12 to 48 months in state prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old junior firefighter.

On Friday, Northumberland County Judge Hugh Jones sentenced former Strong Fire Company Chief Kevin Mains Jr., 45, of Shamokin, to a state prison sentence with 10 days of credit. Mains, who pleaded guilty to a felony count of sexual assault by a volunteer or employee of a nonprofit, must also pay a $100 fine plus court costs and fees and follow any sex offender requirements from state supervision upon release.

Jones acknowledged testimony from Mains and his friends and family that he is a community and family-minded individual, but his good deeds don’t “square with the charges.”

“You were in a position of authority,” Jones said. “You abused that authority in this case.”

Mains, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a retired employee of state corrections, is accused of engaging in intercourse on four different occasions with a 14-year-old female junior firefighter from July through August 2018. Mains was originally charged with five felony counts of statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, sexual assault by volunteer or employee of a nonprofit and corruption of minors and an indecent assault misdemeanor. The remaining charges are dismissed.

The victim and her family were not present for the hearing, but Assistant District Attorney Leslie Bryden said she has been in contact with them about the plea negotiations.

This has been “very traumatic for the young lady” and it “changed her life significantly,” Bryden said.

Defense Attorney Sudhir Raman Patel, of Pottsville, called six witnesses who all testified that Mains is a family man who cares about the fire company, community and other people.

“He is an amazing man, he’s so kind,” said 20-year friend Christina Baluta, of Mount Carmel. “He’s always there to help people. He’s selfless.”

An emotional Mains, who has four adult children and one 9-year-old son, testified that he has a “high level of embarrassment” about the criminal charges. It has been a high point of stress for him and his family, he said.

“I have very deep remorse,” said Mains. “I am ashamed. I’m sorry to everyone I let down.”

Mains said he understands the gravity of his actions. He said he can’t take back anything that happened and that his pain does not compare to his victim’s pain.

“It has been a nightmare,” he said. “I know I betrayed the trust put in me.”

Mains asked the judge to suspend a sentence so he could be with his family and be there for the birth of his grandchild. He said he has no prior criminal record and will never have any criminal charges ever again.

“I served my country, my state and my community,” said Mains. “I am a family man. I’m not a threat to anybody.”

Bryden said the majority of testimony provided by Mains and his loved ones was all about Mains.

“He took advantage of a young girl,” she said. “It’s not about the defendant.”

Following the hearing, Bryden said the sentence was “more than appropriate” and considers it “fair and just.”

Mains was immediately taken into custody by the Northumberland County Sheriff’s Department following the conclusion of the hearing.

Charges related to a second case were withdrawn. Mains was charged in the second case with misdemeanor counts of indecent assault and open lewdness and a summary count of harassment. He is accused of assaulting a 15-year-old girl in July 2021. He had been free on bail since July 2019.


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