Man admits attempting illegal contact with minor in Montgomery County
NORRISTOWN — A Delaware County man awaits his fate from a Montgomery County judge after admitting to having illegal online contact of a sexual nature with whom he believed to be a teenage girl but who was actually an undercover detective.
Patrick Eoghan Spillane, 26, of the 100 block of Whitemarsh Road, Haverford Township, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to a felony charge of unlawful contact with a minor – obscene and other sexual material and performance – in connection with incidents occurring in January 2020.
Along with the prosecution, prosecutors from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office alleged that Spillane sent a nude photo of his genitals and discussed in explicit sexual detail the sexual acts he wanted to perform on whom he believed was a girl. 13 years old but was an undercover officer. state agent who was communicating from the Attorney General’s Eastern Regional Office in Lower Providence, Montgomery County.
Judge Thomas M. DelRicci postponed sentencing so that court officials could complete a background investigation report on Spillane, who must also undergo a sexually violent predator assessment by state officials.
The open plea means that Spillane has no agreement with prosecutors regarding the potential sentence and the judge will have discretion to determine the sentence.
Spillane faces a maximum sentence of 3½ to 7 years in prison for this charge. However, state sentencing guidelines may allow for a lesser sentence.
Regardless of the sentence Spillane receives, he faces a 25-year obligation to report his address to the state police in order to comply with the state’s sex offender registration and notification law.
An investigation began on January 14, 2020, when an undercover officer from the Child Predator Section of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office impersonated a 13-year-old girl on the social media app Whisper and received a private message from a Whisper account. related to Spillane.
Even though the undercover officer informed Spillane that she was 13, Spillane solicited the alleged child for unlawful sexual touching and passed a photo of his penis to the alleged child, according to the arrest affidavit filed by Special Agent Eric Barlow.
On February 7, 2020, state agents, along with federal and local law enforcement, served a search warrant at Spillane’s residence and confiscated Spillane’s two cell phones. On one of the phones, investigators located the indecent photos sent to the alleged child and the messages sent through the Whisper app, according to court documents.
Spillane later admitted to using the Whisper app and he acknowledged that the photographs sent to the alleged child were of his penis, according to the arrest affidavit.
Spillane remains free on bail pending his sentencing hearing.
Other charges of broadcasting explicit sexual material to a minor and criminal use of a means of communication were dropped against Spillane.