William A. Gillin and Jeffrey Haire were among five men arrested in April following a police investigation into reports that a teenage boy from Richland Township in Cambria County was involved in sexual relationships that developed in Internet chat room conversations with men.
Gillin pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault on a person less than 16 years old (a second-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of two years for each count); two counts of unlawful contact or communication with a minor and two counts of corruption of a minor, both of which are first-degree misdemeanors that carry a maximum five-year sentence for each count.
Haire pleaded guilty to one count of corruption of a minor.
The two, who remain free on bond, are scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 27 by Cambria County Common Pleas Judge Gerard Long.
In addition, Gillin’s guilty plea on the unlawful contact charge invokes Megan’s Law, which means he will face an evaluation by the state’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine whether he will be considered a sexually violent predator, said Cambria County District Attorney Patrick Kiniry.
Gillin’s plea means he will be required to register with the state police as a sexual offender for 10 years; if he is labeled a sexually violent predator, he will be required to register for life.
Haire had been a part-time police officer in UPJ’s Public Safety department since 2000.
Gillin, a 1974 UPJ graduate, had been employed at UPJ for more than three decades, most recently as manager of Alumni Relations. His office computer, confiscated as part of the investigation, will be kept by the state police, Kiniry said.
Gillin and Haire were suspended without pay from the University following their arrests and later resigned.
“They’re no longer employees,” UPJ spokeswoman Kimberly M. Miller said.
The men initially faced more serious charges than those to which they pleaded, but the lesser charges were agreed to by the victim’s parents and police in an effort to shield the teen from the potentially traumatic experience of testifying in court, Kiniry said.
Gillin, 53, initially was charged with two counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors.
According to a state police complaint, the teen identified Gillin as one of the men he had met for sex and that he and Gillin had oral sex “at least 10 times,” at Gillin’s home when the boy was 15. The involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges, a felony, were lodged because the boy was under 16, the legal age of consent.
Haire, 40, initially was charged with two counts of corruption of minors. According to the complaint against Haire, the teen stated he and Haire had met on two occasions at Haire’s home, where they performed oral sex on one another.
In explaining the reduction in charges, Kiniry said prosecutors’ goal was to punish the offenders, to warn parents about the dangers that may lurk online and to accomplish those objectives without requiring the teen to appear in court.
“We think justice was done,” he said.
—Kimberly K. Barlow, via University Times