Eight months after being arrested and charged with sexually assaulting children, a Berks County woman has pleaded guilty.
Leslie Yerger allowed her husband to sexually assault four children over the course of 23 years, and she also participated in some of the acts, investigators said.
Yerger's neighbors in Union Township, however, knew her as another friendly face.
"One time I met her out here," said one of Yerger's neighbor. "I said, 'Where do you live at?' She said right down behind me. And then I said, 'What is the matter?' She said her dog ran away, and I tried to help her find it. Then she got the dog and she went home."
But, the neighbors were shocked to hear she and her husband, Warren Yerger Sr., allegedly abused children in their care.
Leslie Yerger pleaded guilty in Chester County court to two counts each of endangering the welfare of children, corruption of a minor, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and aggravated indecent assault, as well as eight counts of conspiracy.
"It was so horrible, and she seemed like a nice lady when I met her out here. Oh my gosh," said a neighbor.
Investigators said Warren Yerger Sr. abused three girls and one boy over the span of 23 years, beginning in 1989, sometimes on a weekly basis. Police said Yerger would tell his wife, or his onetime girlfriend, Deborah Keeley, that he was taking two of the children upstairs to say prayers with them, but police said he would instead lock the door and sexually assault them.
Warren Yerger is facing more than 500 criminal charges, including rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors. Police said Leslie Yerger and Deborah Keeley participated in some of the acts.
As a mother and grandmother, one neighbor said it is especially hard hearing about the alleged abuse months later.
"I could not believe it. I just can't understand how she can do that to her kids," she said.
A sentencing date for Leslie Yerger has not been scheduled.
All three people remain behind bars.