The Mercury (Pottstown, PA)

Man sent to prison for attempted sex with minor

- By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-centurymed­ia. com @montcocour­tnews on Twitter

The man engaged in sexually explicit online conversati­ons with an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old girl.

NORRISTOWN >> A Whitpain man who previously served probation for having inappropri­ate contact with a teenage Lower Merion girl is now in prison for attempting to have sex with a minor after he engaged in sexually explicit online conversati­ons with an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Timothy Walter Hallberg, 47, of the 300 block of Railroad Avenue in the Ambler section of Whitpain, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to three to 10 years in a state correction­al facility after he pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit statutory sexual assault in connection with incidents that occurred in January 2019 in Lower Providence.

Judge Henry S. Hilles III, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, said Hallberg will receive credit for time he spent in jail from January 2019 while awaiting court action on the charges.

The judge said Hallberg will be placed under sex offender supervisio­n and Hallberg faces a lifetime requiremen­t to report his address to state police in order to comply with Pennsylvan­ia’s Sexual Offender Registrati­on and Notificati­on Act.

Hallberg must forfeit his cellphone and court officials must monitor Hallberg’s internet use after he is released from prison on parole, according to the judge’s sentence. The judge ordered Hallberg to have no contact with minors except for his own children.

The case was investigat­ed and handled by the Pennsylvan­ia Office of Attorney General. State Deputy Attorney General Michelle Laucella prosecuted the case.

The investigat­ion began in January 2019, when Hallberg began having

online communicat­ions with a state agent, acting in an undercover capacity and posing as a 14-year-old girl. Despite Hallberg being advised of the girl’s age he solicited sexual contact from who he believed was the 14-year-old girl, telling the undercover agent he had a vasectomy and the girl couldn’t get pregnant, according to the arrest affidavit.

“When I come over, we will have real sex,” Hallberg allegedly wrote to the purported underage girl.

Hallberg also sent pornograph­ic videos to the undercover agent posing as the teenage girl.

Hallberg set up a meeting with who he believed was the underage girl and when he arrived at the meeting place in Lower Providence on Jan. 25 he was intercepte­d by law enforcemen­t authoritie­s and taken into custody, court papers indicate.

It was not Hallberg’s first contact with law enforcemen­t.

In March 2014, Hallberg, then 39, was sentenced in county court to five years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeano­r charge of corruption of a minor in connection with a September 2013 incident in Lower Merion.

The previous investigat­ion began Sept. 20, 2013, when “a concerned father” contacted Lower Merion police in reference to his teenage daughter having contact with an adult male, according to the criminal complaint. The father reported that he was in the area of the Penn Wynne Library on Overbrook Parkway when he noticed his 17-year-old daughter exiting a vehicle operated by a male, who was subsequent­ly identified as Hallberg, according to court papers.

When police interviewe­d the girl, she told authoritie­s that she and Hallberg had communicat­ed with each other via email and exchanged photos, according to the arrest affidavit filed at the time by Lower Merion Detective Brian Layton. Detectives alleged in the criminal complaint that some of the photos that Hallberg sent to the girl were sexual in nature.

The girl told detectives that Hallberg picked her up in his vehicle on Sept. 20 and that Hallberg had inappropri­ate contact with her inside the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.

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