A former Pennsylvania commissioner was found guilty of a sex crime after admitting to groping his 103-year-old mother-in-law.
The defendant, 75-year-old William Spingler, was the first Democrat to join the Radnor Board of Commissioners in 1970, and also served as a county commissioner from 1972 to 1980 before coming back to the board in 1991 and finally stepping down in 2015.
Last December, Spingler was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother-in-law three times in a month, according to Raw Story. Spingler reportedly visited the woman frequently after her daughter, and his late wife, had passed in 2007. It was also reported that Spingler's mother-in-law had lived with him for around 8 years before heading to a nursing home. She suffers from dementia but continued to recognize her son-in-law up until the assaults began.
The former lawmaker's defense was that he touched her inappropriately for “shock value,” hoping that the act would spark her memory.
He said in a statement, “I thought for shock value, you know, I could get her to say something, let her know I was there. I touched her breast. It was the dumbest thing I ever did, but I did it to get her attention and let her know I was there."
Obviously, his statements were disputed.
Police Chief William Colarulo tells a different story, saying witnesses alerted him to the groping and that during the arrest, Spingler admitted he touched his mother-in-law “to make her feel good about herself” and “get her going,” even when she said no.
Since the hearing, Spingler remains free on a $10,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 28. In the meantime, Spingler will have to undergo a presentence investigation and psychosexual evaluation. He will also have to have an evaluation by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to assess whether he meets certain criteria to be registered as a sexually violent predator, according to Daily Times-News.
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