MEDIA >> Back in December 2014, Delaware County Children and Youth Services investigated an allegation of sex between Hugh Taussig-Lux, then 18, and a 12-year-old girl — but the girl denied any contact and no crime was substantiated against the borough man
In late November 2016, as Media Borough police were files-deep into investigations regarding a series of rape and/or corruption of minor cases involving Taussig-Lux, that same young girl came forward and reversed her story, admitting that Taussig-Lux forcibly raped her in the summer of 2014 in his borough apartment at 115 E. Baker St.
Last month, on Feb. 24, Taussig-Lux pleaded guilty to that rape, as well as crimes against 11 other children over an 18-month period from the summer of 2014 through the spring of 2016 — until his arrest on May 25, 2016. Those cases include an indecent assault involving a 12-year-old girl; the sexual assault of two 15-year-old girls; and corruption of minor offenses against four boys and four girls, ages 14 and 15.
Taussig-Lux is currently incarcerated at Graterford State Correctional Institution, serving a 13 ½ to 27 year sentence, to be followed by eight years of probation.
“We believe not withstanding all of these 12 victims … there may be many other victims out there,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said Tuesday, at a press conference with Media Mayor Robert McMahon and Media Police Chief Martin Wusinch. Photographs of the convicted child-sex offender over the years were on display, along with a photograph of his former apartment where authorities say he would lure his victims with alcohol and drugs.
“We start by asking parents or caretakers or grandparents that when you look at the pictures of this particular defendant, when you look at his address on Baker Street here in Media, if any of the teenagers or the children recognize this particular location or recognize his face and has had contact with him, and has been victimized by this particular defendant, we are asking you to come forward,” Whelan said.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Galantino and Rose Tree Media School District Superintendent James Wigo were also present at the press conference. Also in attendance were Officer Nicole Young of the Media Police Department, who led the investigation, and Assistant District Attorney Alan Borowsky, who prosecuted the cases.
“We have really strong reasons to believe there are other victims out there,” Borowsky said, echoing previous speakers.
“Please parents, have a conversation with your children,” said McMahon.
According to authorities, “in his apartment, Taussig-Lux would hold open house parties for students from the areas of Media Borough, Upper Providence, Middletown and surrounding areas.”
Over the course of her investigation, Young said dozens of people were interviewed, including parents, and there were aggressive searches for other victims.
According to Whelan, through the various investigations, police established a pattern in which Taussig-Lux “is out in the community, preying on these young children that are associated with various schools in the Rose Tree Media School District.”
Two specific areas where Taussig-Lux was known to prey on the children were Glen Providence Park, which straddles Media and Upper Providence, and the Media Elementary School. The school is located less than full block from his Baker Street apartment.
“He’s gone into playgrounds at Media Elementary and interacted with them,” Whelan said.
Taussig-Lux would entice the children with alcohol, drugs including marijuana, cocaine and acid, and video games back to his apartment. At least on one occasion, Whelan said, Taussig-Lux slipped a minor female with a date-rape drug.
While at the apartment, he would engage the teenagers in games like Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle.
“The kids were willing to go with him … but not to be assaulted,” Whelan said.
According to Whelan, it was a misdemeanor marijuana charge that first put Taussig-Lux on the police radar. Over the course of time, there were other allegations, including reports of child sexual abuse that were received by a child hotline reported through school district officials. It’s mandatory for any school employee who becomes aware of any potential inappropriate sexual contact involving a student to report it, Whelan said.
“Information came to us and was ultimately piecemealed to form a much larger investigation,” Whelan said.
According to Borowsky, Taussig-Lux was given an opportunity to discuss his involvement, but declined. When he pleaded guilty to all the charges, he was essentially agreeing that information included in the various affidavits of probable cause was true.
Taussig-Lux grew up in Media and attended Penncrest High School in the Rose Tree Media School District, and the Benchmark School, authorities said. His father, Brian, was appointed Media Borough treasurer in March 2016.
In addition to incarceration and probation, Taussig-Lux also faces lifetime Megan’s Law registration.
Wusinch, who described the overall situation as “distressing because of the children,” thanked agencies including the District Attorney’s office, the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division, the Child Advocacy Center and Women Against Rape for assistance throughout the exhaustive investigation. He also encouraged any additional victims to come forward.
“Part of what we are doing,” Wusinch said, “is to get them the help that is so desperately needed.”
To report a possible sexual assault by Taussig-Lux, call Young at 610-565-6656.
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