By Carl Hessler Jr.
NORRISTOWN - An Upper Providence man potentially faces jail time for having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl when he was 19, including in a wooded area during a Perkiomen Valley High School football game.
Matthew James Labor, now 22, of the 600 block of Bridge Street, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to felony charges of statutory sexual assault in connection with incidents that occurred with the underage girl between September and November 2010 at locations in Upper Providence and Perkiomen townships. Judge Joseph A. Smyth deferred sentencing so that Labor can be evaluated by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Assessment Board, which will determine if Labor meets criteria under the state’s Megan’s Law to be classified as a sexually violent predator.
Those who are deemed to be predators face more stringent restrictions under Megan’s Law, including a lifetime requirement to report their addresses to state police, mandatory counseling and community notification about their housing arrangements.
Labor, who remains in the county jail without bail pending sentencing, faces a possible maximum sentence of five-to-10 years in prison on the charges. However, state sentencing guidelines would allow for a lesser sentence in the county jail.
Under state law, by pleading guilty to the charges, Labor admitted that he engaged in sexual conduct with a girl who was under 16 and when he was four or more years older than the girl and they weren’t married to each other.
An investigation, according to court papers, began in November 2010 when the girl’s parents contacted state police at Skippack to report they became aware that an inappropriate relationship between their daughter and Labor had continued even after they had tried to stop it due to the age difference between the two. The girl’s parents told police that on Nov. 17 they received a call from Perkiomen Valley High School officials indicating the girl was absent from school.
Confronted by her parents, the girl later told them that she had spent the day with Labor at his house and that they had sexual contact, according to the arrest affidavit. The investigation determined that Labor had contacted the school, posing as the girl’s father, and reported her absent from school.
In addition to having sexual contact with the girl at his home, Labor also had sexual contact with the girl in September 2010 during a Perkiomen Valley High School football game, according to the criminal complaint. Labor and the girl attended the game “and during the game went to a nearby wooded area and had sex,” Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Paul Carr Jr. alleged in the criminal complaint.
Police indicated that DNA tests confirmed the sexual contact between Labor and the girl.
In an unrelated matter, Labor also pleaded guilty to charges of accidents involving damage and fleeing from police in connection with a March 12, 2013, incident during which he struck a structure at the Trappe Center Shopping Center in the 100 block of West Main Street in Collegeville while fleeing from police who tried to stop him for an alleged traffic violation. State police alleged Labor got out of the Honda vehicle and fled on foot and refused to render aid to two passengers who were in the vehicle and who reported injuries, according to the criminal complaint.
The investigation determined Labor did not have a valid driver’s license, according to court papers.
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