A long-serving Pennsylvania politician has been found guilty of touching his 103-year-old mother-in-law’s breast during visits to her nursing home.
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According to a story in dailymail.co.uk:
William Spingler was reported to police by staff at Wayne Nursing Home in December last year after he was caught massaging the elderly woman’s breasts.
A Delaware County jury found the 75-year-old guilty on Thursday of indecent assault on a person with a mental disability.
‘It was a stupid, harmless act that destroyed my life,’ Spingler said in court, according to the Delaware Times News.
‘I mean, my reputation is destroyed, my business is destroyed. It was just something that I shouldn’t have done.’
He declined to comment after the verdict Thursday. The judge set sentencing for Sept. 28 and ordered Spingler to undergo a psychosexual evaluation.
Spingler is the former commissioner for the town of Radnor and served in local politics for 30 years before retiring in 2015.
His mother-in-law suffers dementia and requires round-the-clock care.
Three nursing home employees had reported seeing Spingler touch the woman on three separate visits to her Wayne nursing home in December.
Spingler has said that he touched her to get her attention after she stopped being able to recognize him.
On December 15, Spingler was seen planting a kiss on the elderly woman’s lips he greeted her in the dining hall at the start of their visit, police allege.
He was then apparently seen massaging her right breast with his hand under a blanket by staff he did not know were watching him.
Witnesses say they saw the politician doing the same thing on two other occasions.
In a police complaint at the time, the attending officer said the touching could ‘not be misconstrued as anything but inappropriate’.
When Spingler noticed staff were observing him, he is accused of going red in the face then leaving after asking her.
Two different staff members reporting seeing him abuse the woman. Both of Spingler’s two wives are dead.
In the complaint, police described his mother-in-law as ‘unable to defend herself’.
‘(She) is 103 years old and is diagnosed with dementia, unspecified lack of coordination, muscle weakness, anxiety disorder and difficulty walking.
‘(She) is physically and mentally unable to defend herself and is completely dependent upon staff to provide all activities of daily living care 24/7.’