NORRISTOWN >> An Upper Providence man has state prison time and more than two decades of court supervision in his future for having indecent contact with a girl who was under the age of 13.
Christopher R. Beard, 51, of the 100 block of Yerkes Road, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to nine to 25 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child less than 13 and aggravated indecent assault of a child less than 13 in connection with incidents that occurred in July 2015 while the girl was in his company in the Pottstown area.
Judge Steven T. O’Neill, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered that Beard be evaluated by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, which will determine if he meets criteria to be classified as a sexually violent predator. Those classified as predators face more stringent restrictions under state law, including mandatory counseling and community notification about their housing arrangements.
Regardless of the outcome of the evaluation, Beard faces a lifetime requirement to report his address to state police.
The judge also ordered Beard to have no contact with the victim or her family and to pay $2,925 in restitution in connection with the crime.
An investigation of Beard began in October 2015, after concerned classmates of the girl reported to a guidance counselor that the victim had confided in them about the indecent assaults, according to a criminal complaint. The victim subsequently confirmed the assaults to the guidance counselor who then made proper notifications to school officials and police, according to the arrest affidavit.
When interviewed by detectives, the girl described being molested by Beard, adding the assaults included inappropriate touching and other indecent contact, according to the criminal complaint filed by county Detective James Reape.
“(The victim) stated that Christopher Beard made her promise not to tell anyone,” Reape alleged in the arrest affidavit.
Beard will receive credit for the time he’s been in jail since January 2016.