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Former head of rape and victim center indicted on a charge of embezzlement

Published November 05. 2010 05:00PM

The former executive director of the Schuylkill County Rape and Victim Assistance Center has been charged with embezzlement.

Mary Beth Semerod, 55, of Pottsville, has been accused of stealing an estimated $100,000 in grant money, according to papers filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in Scranton. The grant money was to be used to aid the victims of rape or other sexual abuse.

The grant money was for the period of June 2006 to June 2008, according to the justice department.

Semerod was removed from her position in the summer of 2008 after questions arose about the failure to comply with state audit requirements. Those questions reportedly led to the dissolving of the program in 2009.

Currently, the Sexual Assault Resource Counseling Center of Lebanon and Schuylkill counties oversees rape counseling and other related services in Schuylkill County.

Semerod was arrested on Thursday morning and arraigned on the charges. She was indicted by a grand jury on Oct. 26.

The embezzlement allegedly came to light during an audit of records of the Rape and Victim Assistance Center.

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