CLAYSBURG - Just days after he announced an about-face decision to divorce his wife, an alleged serial child molester, Patrick Partsch was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with aggravated indecent assault of a child.
Greenfield Township police arrested him without incident at the Claysburg home where he had lived until his wife's arrest, Greenfield police Sgt. Bryan Ketner said.
Ketner said the child Patrick Partsch allegedly assaulted was younger than 13 years old and that Tabatha Partsch also faces new charges for the same alleged September assault.
Prior to his wife's first court hearing, Patrick Partsch swore he was innocent and maintained that he wasn't aware of Tabatha Partsch's alleged crimes, saying he'd "stick by her through thick and thin."
Earlier this week, he told the Mirror he had realized his wife's guilt and intended to begin divorce proceedings.
"I didn't believe it at first, but I read [the charges] and it came to me," Partsch said.
Claiming he'd been at work at the time of the alleged crimes, which included rape and sexual assault of several children ages 5 to 14, Patrick Partsch said he hadn't noticed any signs of abuse until after her arrest.
Patrick Partsch said he was already skeptical of his wife's case by the time of her first hearing Aug. 2 before Roaring Spring Magisterial District Judge Craig Ormsby. That hearing was continued to Aug. 30 as attorneys considered using children's testimony via closed-circuit television.
"Then it all just hit," he said.
Patrick Partsch said he notified his wife of his divorce plans during the hearing and added that she didn't acknowledge him or respond at the time.
"I told her. I don't know if she took it into consideration," he said. "When I talked to her, she always put her head down."
Patrick Partsch, 33, had lived with 39-year-old Tabatha Partsch, also known as Tabatha Sossong, in Claysburg since last summer, when the pair first met at a South Fork bar. The couple, who both lived in Cambria County at the time, married in February.
Neighbors said the pair often had child visitors, with Tabatha Partsch offering her services as a "baby sitter" in what onetime guests described as filthy living conditions.
Police said she frequently showed children online pornography; Patrick Partsch later admitted that children had seen porn videos at his home but said the couple tried to prevent them from looking.
Since his wife's arrest, Partsch moved out of their Claysburg home, which he said was still owned by Tabatha's former boyfriend, who now lives in Wisconsin. Patrick Partsch said he was staying with family near Johnstown.
He said life since his wife's arrest was difficult, with no job, no house of his own and neighbors refusing to let him on their property.
"They just don't want that name [Partsch] out anywhere," he told the Mirror this week. "It's giving me a bad name."
Patrick Partsch was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker in Altoona. He was held in Blair County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Patrick Partsch said earlier this week that he never committed crimes against youngsters. He acknowledged that he and his wife sometimes had children in their bedroom but maintained he did not do anything criminal while they were there.
"I didn't know how she was," he said of his wife.
"I only knew her for what she was to me."