Man admits to trying to lure 12-year-old girl
A Bucks County man showed no emotion as he admitted to trying to lure a 12-year-old Lower Salford girl he contacted on Facebook to an abandoned bunker in Lenape Park with the intent to sexually assault her.
Richard Calvin Whitehead, 30, of the 100 block of Hughes Avenue, Sellersville, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court Wednesday to felony charges of unlawful contact with a minor, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and possession of child pornography in connection with incidents that occurred between May 9 and May 24, 2011.
Judge Garrett D. Page deferred sentencing so that court officials can complete a background investigative report about Whitehead. Whitehead also must undergo an evaluation by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Assessment Board, which will determine if he meets criteria under the state’s Megan’s Law to be declared a sexually violent predator.
Those deemed to be predators face more stringent restrictions under Megan’s Law.
Regardless the results of the eval- uation, Whitehead faces a lifetime requirement to report his address to state police after he is released from prison.
Whitehead, who is being held in the county jail without bail, faces a possible maximum sentence of four to eight years in state prison on the charges.
Assistant District Attorney Jordan Friter vowed to seek a lengthy state prison sentence against Whitehead. Defense lawyer Edward Rideout indicated he will argue there are mitigating circumstances in Whitehead’s life that would warrant a lesser sentence.
Court documents indicate an investigation began May 17 when a Lower Salford woman contacted township police to report that a man claiming to be 28 years old contacted the 12-year-old girl on Facebook, an Internet social networking site, wanting to “hang out” with the girl.
The girl did not know the man, later determined to be Whitehead, and did not initiate the online contact, authorities alleged. However, the girl did post her cellphone number on Facebook at one point and Whitehead also provided his cellphone number to the victim and her teenage friend, according to court documents.
Whitehead also sent text messages to the victim, asking her inappropriate questions of a personal nature, according to the arrest affidavit.
Detectives were able to trace the phone messages to Whitehead. During the investigation, text messages were exchanged between the 12-year-old girl and Whitehead in the presence of a county detective, according to the criminal complaint.
During the text message conversations of May 23, Whitehead directed the girl to go to Lenape Park the following day to “an abandoned old house on the path,” for the purpose of a sexual encounter, according to the criminal complaint. Whitehead also sent the underage girl a photo of his genitals, according to the arrest affidavit.
At 4 p.m. May 24, detectives stationed themselves at the entrance to Lenape Park and observed Whitehead arrive at the agreed upon meeting location, court papers indicate. Whitehead sent a text message to the 12-year-old girl’s phone asking her if she was coming to the park as police moved in to take him into custody, according to the criminal complaint.