Former Strasburg Fire Department member drops appeal

Andrew Key

WOODSTOCK — One of the four former members of the Strasburg Fire Department who was found guilty last month for contributing to the delinquency of a minor has dropped his appeal.

On Tuesday, Andrew Key spoke with his attorney, William Bassler, and decided not to continue appealing his conviction, according to a letter filed in the Shenandoah County Circuit Court. Bassler has not responded to a request for comment.

According to inmate records from RSW Regional Jail, Key was booked at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Key’s decision to drop his appeal means that he will spend at least the next month in jail. He is serving a 1-year sentence with 11 of those months suspended.

Two of the other former members who were charged in April, meanwhile, have had their trial dates set for their appeals. Both will take place on May 30.

Dale King, the former chief of the Strasburg Fire Department, and Nathan Hirschberg, who served as training captain for the department in 2017, pleaded no contest on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in April.

Judge Kevin Black sentenced King to one year in jail, with 10 of those months suspended. Hirschberg was sentenced to one year, with nine months suspended.

During Key’s trial in April, Key said that he and Hirschberg both had sex with a 17-year-old girl in King’s house but said that he did not know the age of the girl.

He also said that the girl served him alcohol at a bar.

“I thought she was at least 21 years old because she had served us alcohol,” Key said during the trial.