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Convicted Sex Offender Re-Elected As Fire Chief Steps Down Amid Controversy

 Roger Gilbert Jr., who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl, said he and his family are getting death threats: "outsiders are tearing us up."

By Gina Tron

This week, Roger Gilbert Jr. made national headlines after he was re-elected as a small Pennsylvania town's fire chief, despite the fact that Gilbert has been a registered sex offender, according to CBS Local. In 2001, Chief Gilbert was convicted of sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl.

Now, Gilbert has announced that he is stepping down amidst the controversy. He said that he and his family are receiving death threats.

Gilbert told JET 24, "My family and our community are being attacked. I didn't want that to continue.  All I have done for 18 years is good things. But outsiders are tearing us up. I felt the best thing to do was back away."

He’s not only resigning as the fire chief but from the fire department completely.

“It seems you can never do wrong and do good again."

Gilbert, 43, was elected for a second term for the position, which is unpaid and considered volunteer work. The other firefighters have been aware of Gilbert's criminal history since 2010. Spartansburg Mayor Ann Louise Wagner has publicly stood behind her decision to uphold Gilbert’s re-election. She also had a seemingly callous response to the mother of Gilbert’s victim from 2001, who has been outspoken about her disapproval of Gilbert being in that position.

"I don't know why she won't drop this," Wagner said of the victim's mother.

“That was 20 years ago,” Gilbert said of his 2001 crime. “You know, the story you are telling kids is once you make mistake, you will be punished for the rest of your life. I’ve changed my life for the better. Every day I get up and try to do good.”

[Photo: Megan's Law Database]

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