Investigators in Montgomery County have arrested a Bucks County man who they say contacted a 12-year-old Lower Salford Township girl online early in May to arrange a meeting for sex.
Richard Whitehead, 28, of the 100 block of Hughes Avenue, Sellersville, was taken into custody by detectives May 24, when he appeared at an abandoned bunker in a densely wooded area in Lenape Park, Bucks County, officials announced Tuesday.
The bunker was to have been the meeting place for the two, but the girl was not there, police said.
Instead, Whitehead was met by police and charged with attempted involuntary deviant sexual intercourse of a child less than 16, attempted statutory sexual assault, and other crimes.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said a woman contacted the Lower Salford Police Department on May 17 to report that a man claiming to be Kevin Smith, 28, contacted her daughter on Facebook.
The mother told police the man said he wanted to "hang out" with her daughter.
"Hi wats up ur cute," the Facebook messages began on May 9, according to a transcript included in an affidavit of probable cause attached to the criminal complaint.
"Thanks I don't know what you look like," the girl replied.
"Heres my number txt me and I'll send u a pic," the man wrote, including his cellphone number.
Lower Salford and Montgomery County detectives used the cell number to identify Whitehead as the man writing the messages, the affidavit said.
A 12-year-old friend of the girl posted her cell number on the first girl's Facebook page and soon began hearing from the man, according to the affidavit.
On May 23, the second girl initiated a text conversation with the man at the direction of Montgomery County Detective Drew Marino, the affidavit said. As Marino stood by, the girl received a text message about having a sexual encounter.
The next day, undercover police were stationed around the site in Lenape Park when Whitehead appeared. He was taken into custody without incident, police said.
Whitehead was arraigned May 24 before District Justice Francis J. Bernhardt and was being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on $500,000 cash bail. If he makes bail, Whitehead can have no contact with minors.
Ferman said the delay in releasing news of the arrest was due to the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.