NORRISTOWN — A Chester County man is headed to state prison on charges he used the Internet to attempt to meet a minor for sex acts, however, in reality he was communicating with an undercover detective.
Bradley David Vertigan, 23, of the first block of Gloucester Drive, Downingtown, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to three to six years in a state correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful contact with a minor, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a minor, possessing child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility in connection with a November 2017 incident.
Judge Todd D. Eisenberg also ordered Vertigan to complete five years’ probation following parole, meaning he will be under court supervision for 11 years.
Vertigan also faces a lifetime requirement to report his address to state police in order to comply with the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act. The judge prohibited Vertigan from possessing any electronic devices capable of accessing the Internet that are not monitored by probation officials during his parole and probationary period.
An investigation of Vertigan began in November 2017 when undercover agents with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section were conducting undercover online investigations of those who sexually exploit children on the Internet. Vertigan had an online conversation, during which he solicited sex, with the undercover detective who was posing as a 14-year-old child, according to the arrest affidavit.
Vertigan arranged to meet who he believed was the 14-year-old child at a prearranged location in Lower Providence on Nov. 17, according to court documents. When state agents spotted Vertigan at the prearranged meeting place they took him into custody and they found him in possession of condoms, lubricant and breakfast, items he allegedly intended to give to who he believed was the minor.
At the time of his arrest, Vertigan told detectives “this needed to happen,” and stated he intended to have sexual contact with a minor child, according to the criminal complaint.
“The actor stated that he has been attracted to 13-14 year old boys for the last nine years. The actor stated that as of recently, the urges to meet a minor for sex, have been strong,” detectives wrote in the arrest affidavit.
Vertigan also told investigators that he viewed child pornography online and also befriended minors on social media platforms and obtained explicit nude photos form them and that he sent nude photos in return.
“The actor stated he knows this behavior is both morally and legally wrong,” detectives alleged.
When detectives searched the contents of Vertigan’s cellphone and laptop computer they uncovered hundreds of photos and videos depicting children in various stages of undress or involved in various sexual acts. At least 11 of the videos depicted young males under the age of 13 engaged in various sex acts, according to the criminal complaint.