Phoenixville man sentenced for sexting with underage girls

NORRISTOWN – A 25-year-old Phoenixville man will be under court supervision after he used his cell phone to send inappropriate messages and graphic photos of a sexual nature to two underage girls in the Pottstown area.

Patrick Philip Stonier, of the 700 block of West Bridge Street, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to five years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to charges of obscene and other sexual materials, dissemination to minors, and corruption of minors in connection with incidents that occurred in February 2011.

Judge Kent H. Albright, who accepted a plea agreement in the matter, also ordered Stonier to undergo a mental health evaluation and to have no contact with the victims, who were 12 and 13.

With the plea, Stonier admitted that he had conversations of a sexual nature and sent nude photos of himself, via text messages, to the girls.

“He’s an adult and he has to know better and be more responsible. A grown adult propositioning a child for sex is inexcusable under every circumstance. It was straight sex talk,” alleged Assistant District Attorney Jordan Friter, referring to the nature of the text messages.

Technological advances, Friter said, make it much easier for children to become victims of such conduct. Friter said Stonier’s arrest and prosecution should serve as a warning to others that sending sexually-charged messages to minors is a serious crime.

“In this age of technology, this is a message to people that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated under any circumstances. It’s a message to parents that you have to keep an eye on what your child is doing, who they’re talking to, because there are dangers out there associated with electronic communication,” Friter said.

“Luckily these two girls were smart enough and brave enough to come forward and tell an adult about it,” Friter added.

An investigation of Stonier began in February 2011 when the mother of a 13-year-old Upper Pottsgrove girl contacted township police to report a 24-year-old man was “texting inappropriate subject matter and graphic photos” to her daughter, according to an arrest affidavit filed by Upper Pottsgrove Police officer Larry Hanna.

The investigation revealed Stonier sent sexually explicit text messages and photos of his genitals to the girl’s cell phone, according to the arrest affidavit.

A joint investigation with Lower Pottsgrove police uncovered a second girl, age 12, with whom Stonier had inappropriate Internet and phone contact, according to the arrest affidavit. Stonier started texting the girl after making initial contact with her on Facebook, police said.

Stonier told both girls in the text messages that he wanted to meet them and have sex with them, knowing that both girls were underage.

When detectives met with Stonier, he admitted he knew the girls were 12 and 13.

“Stonier admitted to sending at least eight nude photos of himself to (one victim) and several other nude photos to (the second girl) via his phone,” Hanna wrote in the criminal complaint. “These conversations were explicit in nature and contained sexual content.”

At the time Stonier was arrested for the sexting incidents, he was on probation for a 2010 retail theft conviction in connection with an incident at a West Norriton grocery store, according to court documents. Stonier’s new arrest represented a violation of his previous probation.

The judge sentenced Stonier to six to 12 months in the county jail for violating his probation.

Follow Carl Hessler Jr. on Twitter @MontcoCourtNews