Philadelphia – A retired Philadelphia police officer has been sentenced to 15 to 40 years prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting women and girls, many times wearing a uniform and in the back seat of his police vehicle.
Patrick Heron, 54, entered his guilty plea Friday under a plea deal ahead of a trial for child sexual assault, child pornography, kidnapping and other related crimes. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Jane Roh, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said the victims were pleased by the guilty plea, which spares them the anguish of a trial. Defense attorney Anthony List spoke in the same vein and He expressed the hope that “everyone can continue with their lives.”
Heron, who retired from the force in 2019, was charged last year with posing as an active duty officer to lure girls. Investigators later found photos and videos of predatory behavior spanning many years and dozens of vulnerable young men and girls, some of whom were runaways, had been arrested or suffered from addictions.
Lyandra Retacco, head of the prosecutor’s special investigations unit, said the crimes occurred from 2005 to last year and that Heron knew many of the victims while he was active. He said the researchers They have identified 48 victimsalthough they do not know the identity of many of them, and it is likely that many others have not filed complaints.