A former Pennsylvania commissioner expressed remorse in open court Thursday regarding the indecent assault charges that stem from the ex-politician admitting that he fondled the breasts of his dementia-suffering, 103-year-old mother-in-law or as he relayed to it, “the biggest mistake of [his] life.”
Writers for the New York Post report that William Spingler, once the first Democrat to be voted into the Radnor Board of Commissioners in the 1970’s, was found not guilty of one of three instances of improperly touching the elderly resident of Genesis Healthcare Wayne Center: the mother of Spingler’s late wife.
“It was a stupid, harmless act that destroyed my life,” Spingler, 75, said in court on Thursday.
“I mean, my reputation is destroyed, my business is destroyed. It was just something that I shouldn’t have done.”
The ex-politician, who stepped down from his position one year prior to the alleged matter, shared with the Philadelphia Inquirer in January of this year that he personally knew the victim for nearly six decades and cared for her at his home for eight years, before her dementia symptoms worsened to the point where Spingler could no longer care for his mother-in-law without assistance.
Despite her worsening condition, Mr. Spingler explained to defense attorney James Pierce during his trial, that the victim still was able to recognize him whenever he visited her at the healthcare center until December 8 of last year — the very same day the woman turned 103.
“I got nothing, no recognition out of her,” he specified.
Spingler went on to say that he received the same amount of non-recognition from the old woman during their next visit one week later which is when, according to the ex-politician, he first fondled his mother-in-law’s breasts in an effort to “shock” her back to her senses.
“I made the biggest mistake of my life,” he stated.
“I thought for shock value, you know, I could get her to say something, let her know I was there. I touched her breast. It was the dumbest thing I ever did, but I did it to get her attention and let her know that I was there.”
Spingler also admitted to giving his mother-in-law another “hands-on treatment” on December 17, but denied the occurrence of an alleged encounter on the 23rd of that same month.
“[Spingler] admitted the first two instances took place in the dining hall underneath a blanket draped over the victim’s chest as described by employees,” the Delaware County Daily Times writes, “but denied any wrongdoing in the third incident.”
Radnor Township Police Chief William Colarulo, the lead officer behind Spingler’s eventual arrest, expressed on stand that the politician came clean almost immediately after he was cuffed, by correctly acknowledging that Radnor Township officers were at his home as a result of the reported assault.
“He said, ‘I know what this is about: This is about me rubbing [my mother-in-law’s breasts],” Police Chief Colarulo shared with the court, although in the law official’s words, Spingler’s reasoning for doing so had nothing to do with getting the woman to remember who he was.
“‘I do it to get her going,'” the police officer said Spingler told him.
“When I see her, I’ll kiss her on the mouth, I’ll rub her breasts to make her feel good about herself. Sometimes she says ‘no,’ but that’s all it is [and] that’s all there is to it.'”
On cross-examination, Spingler specified that the phrase “get her going” meant that he was only trying to “get the victim to recognize him,” and that the woman’s responses of “no” were to Spingler trying to hug his mother-in-law goodbye at the nursing home, to no apparent avail.
The ex-politician’s sentencing date was purportedly postponed to September 28 to allow state-appointed psychologists of the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board time to work out Spingler’s final fate.
[Featured Image by Radnor Township Police Dept.]