NORRISTOWN - A Trappe man admitted Thursday that he illegally entered a Royersford school several times between 2001 and 2003 and used mirrors to attempt to secretly watch females in the bathrooms.
Jon Paul Divincenzo, 35, of the 600 block of Borough Line Road, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to charges of criminal trespass and attempted invasion of privacy in connection with incidents that occurred at Spring-Ford Intermediate School.
"The whole thing, it was disgusting. He went to great lengths to pull this off in order to satisfy his warped objective," Assistant District Attorney Wendy Demchick-Alloy said. "He's admitted he broke into the school and set up an elaborate scheme to pull off his peeping Tom behavior."
Attempts to reach defense lawyer Robert J. Donatoni were unsuccessful Thursday. In court papers, Donatoni argued that there is no evidence Divincenzo attempted to cause injury to anyone or poses a danger to the community.
On Nov. 19, 2003, Divincenzo was charged in connection with three incidents that occurred inside the school, on Washington Street in Royersford, between May 2001 and November 2003. Prosecutors said Divincenzo entered Spring-Ford Intermediate on evenings when girls' basketball games were being played and rigged a mirror system in a bathroom so he could watch the girls and their mothers.
Divincenzo, authorities allege, directed the girls and their mothers to the men's bathroom areas by hanging homemade, computer-generated signs in the hallways that indicated the women's bathrooms were out of service. Divincenzo would then wait for the females to enter the men's room where he had strategically placed the mirrors, authorities allege.
The first suspicious incident was reported May 8, 2001, during a girls' nighttime basketball game, according to court documents. A similar incident was reported on March 5, 2003, a day after the Sacred Heart Youth Organization used the school gymnasium, court documents indicate. About 35 girls, ages 10 to 14, attended that event.
Divincenzo was spotted in the school again on Nov. 18, 2003, and police from multiple jurisdictions surrounded the building and captured Divincenzo. There is no evidence to suggest that Divincenzo photographed or videotaped the locker room activities, authorities said.
When interviewed by police, Divincenzo confessed to all three Spring-Ford incidents, according to the criminal complaint.
"Divincenzo said he has this perversion he cannot explain, but reported he is able to relieve his stress by engaging in the actions," Royersford police officer Donald Long wrote in the arrest affidavit. "Divincenzo said his stress is caused by work and family/marital issues."
Divincenzo was later arrested on additional charges of burglary and criminal trespass in connection with a Nov. 29, 2001, incident, during which he allegedly watched cheerleaders practice in a wrestling room at Methacton High School on Kriebel Mill Road in Worcester. At that time, prosecutors allege, Divincenzo was secretly watching a girls' cheerleading practice from a hidden location when a coach confronted him and he fled the scene.
Charges in connection with the Methacton incident are expected to be dismissed when Divincenzo is sentenced for the Spring-Ford incidents.
The open plea means Divincenzo has no deals with prosecutors regarding his potential punishment. Judge Paul W. Tressler, who will have sole discretion in fashioning the punishment, deferred sentencing so probation officials can conduct a background examination of Divincenzo.
Divincenzo, the married father of two, remains free on 10 percent of $50,000 bail. He faces a possible sentence ranging from probation to several months in jail. As a condition of his bail, Divincenzo, formerly of West Chester, must continue with psychological counseling, which he began shortly after his arrest.
Demchick-Alloy indicated prosecutors will seek a jail sentence.