Former Philly cop accused of luring and grooming young girls

File photo: Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner speaks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022

File photo: Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner speaks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A retired Philadelphia police officer is facing charges for allegedly trying to lure underage children.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said Patrick Heron is in jail on a $2 million bond.

“The conduct alleged includes unlawful sexual contact with minors, some of them quite young. Electronic messages that appear to be efforts at grooming young girls or coercion of young girls to meet with this defendant in person, to send him intimate photographs,” Krasner said.

The official charges include unlawful contact with minors, indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old, and retaliation.

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Krasner said the accusations that Heron tried to intimidate victims to keep them quiet is a very serious matter.

“This defendant is alleged to have used electronic communications and forgery to threaten and intimidate children and adults who attempted to report his misconduct to authorities,” he said. “For that reason, we are declining to release further details about a Philadelphia public school that was involved.”

The DA’s office has reached out to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and to the school district leadership to brief them on the nature of these allegations and the efforts to encourage children, teachers, and staff who have information relevant to this or future investigations to contact the DA’s office directly.

The incident is “every parent’s nightmare, this is every teacher’s nightmare,” Krasner said. “You got a guy who was born in 1969 who is going after little kids, young teens, this is awful conduct.”

The DA’s office is not sure they have identified all the victims in the case.  Krasner urged people who were involved to get treatment and to also contact his Special Investigations Unit at DAO_SIU@phila.gov or 215–686–9608.

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