PHOENIXVILLE — A husband and wife will stand trial in Chester County Court on hundreds of counts of sexual assault involving children.
Warren Yerger Sr, 51, and Leslie Yerger, 34, of the 1200 block of East Main Street, waived their rights to a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon.
A third person charged in the case, Deborah Keeley, 47, a former girlfriend of Warren Yerger, will be in court Thursday at 11 a.m.
In total, the three face more than 1,000 counts of child endangerment, rape, sexual assault, incest and conspiracy to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, among others, according to court documents.
Warren Yerger struggled to get out of a black sedan parked on the grass at the side of the courthouse Wednesday at 1 p.m.
A Pennsylvania State Trooper and a security guard were standing outside the double doors leading into Theodore P. Michael’s courtroom. checking attendees for weapons as well as providing extra security.
During a 23-year period, four people moved with Warren Yerger and his partners as they relocated to homes in Berks, Montgomery, Chester and McKean counties.
The alleged abuse began in 1989 when a male victim and a related female victim told police they were 5 and 3 years old, respectively, when Warren Yerger was living on Columbia Avenue in Phoenixville.
According to police, Warren Yerger forced the siblings to engage in sexual intercourse with each other after he moved to McKean County.
In 1993, Yerger broke the male victim’s nose in order to, “beat the devil out of him,” police said.
Yerger allegedly told the mother of the two victims that he was, “doing nightly prayers with the victims.” Instead, Yerger would lock the children in their rooms while allegedly sexually assaulted them, police said.
In 1995, Keeley and Yerger began dating and in 1996, they moved to Levengood Road in Upper Pottsgrove, police said. The female victim told police that Keeley and Yerger forced her to perform sexual acts on them.
When Yerger and Keeley seperated, the abuse from Keeley stopped, police said.
Warren Yerger moved to Terrace Drive in the borough with Leslie Yerger after the two were married, police said.
In a nine-year period, from 2001 to 2010, Warren Yerger allegedly forced two more female victims into daily routines of sexual abuse, police said.
In 2012, one of those victims told police Warren Yerger left her money after he allegedly sexually assaulted her, police said.
Police said in December of last year, they received information about the alleged abuse and began an investigation. The three alleged offenders were arrested on July 9, police said.
Warren and Leslie Yerger are scheduled to appear in county court on Aug. 15 at 9:30 a.m., according to court documents.