A 28-year-old Bucks County man this morning waived his preliminary hearing in Schwenksville and was ordered held for trial on charges of trying to arrange sex with a child.
District Court Justice Albert J. Augustine declined a defense request that bail be lowered from $500,000 for Richard Whitehead, of Sellersville.
Whitehead is charged with attempted criminal assault and corruption of a minor for allegedly contacting a 12-year-old girl through Facebook and arranging a meeting for sex with the girl's friend in an abandoned bunker in Lenape Park, Bucks County.
The meeting never occurred because the first girl's mother tipped off police, who arrested Whitehead at the park May 23.
Defense attorney Fiorindo A. Vagnozzi argued that bail should be lowered because Whitehead is a first-time offender, suffers from attention deficit disorder, and is needed at home to take care of his ailing mother.
"He's not a flight risk," Vagnozzi said. "There is no criminal history."
But Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Samantha Cauffman said if authorities had not intervened, "it could have been a disaster."
"God forbid, but if the little girl had panicked, we might have had a situation like Souderton," she said.
Late month, Skyler Kauffman, 9, was raped and killed in the in the basement of her apartment building in Souderton. A 24-year-old neighbor has been charged with the crime.