Retired police officer faces new charges in child sex assault case

A retired Philadelphia police officer, Patrick Heron, who was already in custody on child sex assault charges, now faces dozens more sex crimes that occurred during his time on duty. Heron, a former patrol officer, had previously been charged with posing as an officer after his retirement in 2019, using this guise to lure young girls into meeting him or soliciting intimate photos. District Attorney Larry Krasner has described these allegations as alarming.

The latest charges against Heron include sexual misconduct against girls and women in 19 new cases spanning from 2005 to 2019, while he was still an active member of the police force. Additionally, he is accused of threatening or intimidating witnesses.

Patrick Heron, 53, is currently being held without bail after his initial $2 million bail was revoked. The 233 new counts announced on Tuesday encompass a range of offenses, including kidnapping, child sexual abuse, indecent assault, institutional sexual assault, among other sexual assult charges. The charges were brought forward following an ongoing investigation by the Special Investigations Unit of the District Attorney’s Office.

During a press conference, Lyandra Retacco, the chief of the Special Investigations Unit, revealed that more victims continue to come forward, and new evidence is being uncovered. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Heron’s lawyer, Pierre La Tour, declined to comment on the new charges.

The charges against Heron highlight the disturbing abuse of power and betrayal of trust by a former police officer. The allegations of sexual misconduct against minors and adults span over a decade, raising concerns about the safety and well-being of the community. The case also underscores the importance of thorough investigations and the need for victims to feel empowered to come forward.

In response to the charges, the District Attorney’s Office is working diligently to support the victims and ensure their voices are heard. The ongoing investigation aims to uncover any additional evidence and identify any potential witnesses who may have information related to the case.