A former Pennsylvania politician was convicted on two counts of indecent assault after he admitted to fondling his 103-year-old mother-in-law’s breasts.
According to The Delaware County Daily Times, William Spingler, 75, a former Radnor Township commissioner, said that he had known his mother-in-law for 57 years, and that he had committed “a stupid, harmless act” that destroyed his life.
“It was just something that I shouldn’t have done,” Spingler told a jury Thursday.
Spingler was arrested in December 2016 following a third alleged assault on the woman occurred during one month, although he denied the third assault and was found not guilty.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Spingler was once married to the victim’s daughter, who died in 2007. Spingler claimed that the victim had resided with him for eight years prior to moving into a nursing home in Radnor.
Spingler said that the victim, who suffered from dementia, continued to recognize him until early December when she became unable to identify him.
“I got nothing, no recognition out of her and I made the biggest mistake of my life,” he said.
“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 that I was there.”
He employed the same tactic during his next visit, garnering no response from the woman.
Witnesses claim that both incidents occurred in the long-term care facility’s dining hall where Spingler fondled his mother-in-law’s breasts under a blanket.
During his testimony in Thursday’s trial, Radnor Township Police Chief William Colarulo, who arrested Spingler, stated that Spingler knew immediately why he was being arrested.
“I know what this is about. This is about me rubbing breasts. I do it to get her going,” Spingler said, according to Colarulo.
“He said ‘When I see her, I’ll kiss her on the mouth, I’ll rub her breasts to make her feel good about herself. Sometimes she says ‘no,’ but that’s all it is, that’s all there is to it.’ Something to that effect,” Colarulo testified.
Spingler apologized for his conduct, calling his decisions “just awful.”
Spingler was allowed to remain free on $10,000 unsecured bail and will be sentenced September 28 following evaluations by the state’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.
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