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Press Release

Man Indicted For Assault, Threats And Starting A Fire At Gettysburg National Park

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Gary L. DuRocher, 41, formerly a resident of Maryland, was charged in an Indictment by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg.  On August 11, 2014, DuRocher was charged in a Criminal Complaint, arraigned, and detained pending a preliminary hearing.  The charges stem from an incident at the Gettysburg National Military Park on Friday night, August 8, 2014.  According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the Indictment charges the same three offenses as the Complaint:  DuRocher allegedly committed an assault within the jurisdiction of the United States; he also is charged with malicious mischief for allegedly starting a fire that damaged property in the Park; and allegedly made a threat of harm to another person in interstate commerce.  If convicted of all offenses, DuRocher faces 11 years in prison and fines of more than $500,000.

     At his first appearance in federal court, DuRocher was ordered detained pending a preliminary hearing.  With the filing of the Indictment, there will no longer be a preliminary hearing because the grand jury’s finding of probable cause to believe the crimes alleged were committed takes the place of the probable cause finding made at a preliminary hearing.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab is expected to arraign DuRocher on the Indictment tomorrow, Thursday, August 21, at 9:30 a.m.

     The case was investigated by the National Park Service with the assistance of Cumberland Township, Gettysburg Borough, McSherrystown Borough, Pennsylvania State Police and Maryland State Police, as well as fire and emergency response personnel from around the Gettysburg area.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James T. Clancy.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 9, 2015