By Julia Roat
Many kids grow up with dreams of being a police officer. The police are meant to protect and serve, but for one minor, the police did anything but that. Former Waynesboro Police Department officer William Sublett IV is being charged with aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and corruption of a minor.
Sublett had a responsibility to serve as a role model in his community but instead abused his power to get close to a minor in need of support. He was quoted by the Echo-Pilot in a story about Greencastle’s Fish with a Cop event in 2019 saying, “I love interacting with kids.” He was an active member of his community prior to his arrest.
In December 2019, Sublett was the responding officer for a suicide attempt and this was his first contact
with the young girl he later victimized. State police were not made aware of the sexual assault until December 10, 2020.
At only fifteen, the minor was groomed by Sublett, thirty-three, for approximately one year before assaulting her. Reports said that Sublett took her back to her home, where he assaulted her. He also bought her a secret cellphone and talked to her using a different name.
Upon her report to the school and the state police, multiple electronics were seized under a search warrant, uncovering explicit photos sent between the two, some of which were sent while Sublett was supposed to be on duty.
It was also said that he made frequent house visits at the minor’s mother’s request to check in on her daughter. Sublett was put on administrative leave following the report and resigned on January 5, 2021.
Waynesboro Police Department issued a press release explaining that they do not condone the actions of Sublett nor do his actions reflect the virtues of the Waynesboro Police Department. When asked for a statement, Waynesboro police chief James H. Sourbier declined to respond.
Citizens look to those in positions of power and expect them to protect and do right by Americans but even those in positions of leadership can become corrupt. If you have been a victim of sexual assault of any kind, resources are available. The sexual assault hotline and website are available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. For local support, Women in Need, located in Chambersburg, PA, has a 24-hour hotline and website at 717-264-4444. Help is out there. Be cautious, stay smart and stay safe.