Philadelphia DA Krasner Calls Cop’s Arrest for Sexual Exploitation of Children ‘An Extremely Disturbing Case’
On Sep. 30, 2022, WCAU in Philadelphia reported that a former police officer was charged with the sexual exploitation of minors and the tampering of witnesses to it. Patrick Heron, 52, retired from the Philadelphia PD in 2019. But since stepping away from his time in law enforcement, he has been accused of abusing young girls. The announcement of the case against Heron came from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, and in his statement, Mr. Krasner called the alleged conduct the worst he had ever seen and that it was “an extremely disturbing case.”
The arrest came on Sep. 28, 2022. Heron was taken into custody, placed on a bail of $2 million, and charged with among other crimes: harassment, forgery, unlawful contact with a child, and indecent assault of a child. He was set to face more than 24 counts in all. After the arrest, police urged media outlets to publish images of Heron’s face to alert any potential other victims or families of the case and convince them to come forward. Investigators accused Heron of using the internet to lure in young girls, contacting and threatening them electronically to send him “intimate photographs,” all the while grooming them for an in-person meeting. During these crimes, Heron also allegedly used threats and intimidation against the children and adults in their lives, amounting to potential witness tampering if true. He allegedly even falsely claimed to be an active police officer to the alleged victims. Mr. Krasner also indicated that an unidentified school was somehow involved in the alleged criminal activity. The arrest in Sep. 2022 followed another arrest in April 2022 on suspicion of harassment and stalking, according to Heron’s attorney.
As of the WCAU report on Sep. 30, 2022, the investigation into Heron’s alleged crimes was ongoing. It reportedly involved police executing multiple search warrants of Heron’s property. Detectives searched Heron’s devices and claimed to have recovered incriminating evidence of attempts to hack into the social media social accounts of witnesses and even forge allegations of criminal behavior by witnesses. Detectives also recovered messages between victims and Heron on his devices, including interactions characterized at “menacing,” “threatening,” and “sexual” in nature. They also reportedly found coerced nude images of the girls in the case.
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