Police arrested a group of men accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a boy while dressed up as "furries" in Bucks County.
Kenneth Fenske, 57, of Quakertown, Bucks County; David Parker, 38, of Stroudsburg, Monroe County; Jeffrey Harvey, 40, of West Wyoming, Luzerne County; Craig Knox and Stephen Taylor were all arrested in connection with the case.
Investigators say the abuse began in 2009 when Parker began taking a 9-year-old boy to a Bucks County home where a group of men dressed up as animals and referred to themselves as "furries."
Furry fandom is a subculture in which people dress up in animal costumes and identify as a chosen animal. It mostly consists of visual art, conventions, games, toys and online communities, though in rare cases it also involves a sexual fetish.
The boy told investigators that a man dressed up as a Red Fox who called himself "Lupine," would take him upstairs during the parties and sexually abuse him. The boy said the abuse occurred several times over a seven-year period. The boy identified "Lupine" as Kenneth Fenske.
Fenske was arrested Friday and charged with child rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and unlawful contact with a minor. He was arraigned and was held on $750,000 bail. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.
Parker, Harvey, Knox and Taylor were arrested as well, on a variety of charges.
Parker is charged with child rape, possession of child pornography and other related offenses. Harvey is charged with unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a cell phone, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and statutory sexual assault. Knox, who was arrested in Virginia, is charged with sexual offenses. Taylor was also arrested in Virginia for bestiality and other related offenses, investigators said.
Officials say the victim is currently in foster care and receiving therapy. They also say the victim is related to one of the suspects, according to court documents, though they would not go into further detail in order to protect the boy's identity.
"This is a horrendous case," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. "It is deeply disturbing to me not only as Attorney General of Pennsylvania, but as a father of young children. We care about this victim and all victims of sexual abuse."
Shapiro said the investigation is ongoing and there will likely be more arrests.
"We believe it is likely there could be more victims out there from this ring of abuse," Shapiro said. "We want to help them and protect them from any further abuse. We're seeking the public's help today and asking people to come forward and speak with our Office or the Bucks DA's Office if they know anything."
If you have any information on the case, please call 1-800-385-1044. You can also give an anonymous tip on the Attorney General website.