Lackawanna County man claiming to be a police officer arrested for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old Delaware County child
Media, Pa – Today District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland announced Bryce Alexander Phillips, 20, of Scranton, is charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old child. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by Detective Sergeant Kenneth Bellis and Detective Mark Bucci of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force with assistance from Detective Nicci Young of the Media Borough Police Department, Lackawanna County Detective Chris Kolcharno, and Officer Will Bilinski of the Dickinson City Police Department.
Bryce Alexander Phillips, 20 of Scranton, Pennsylvania is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, a felony of the first degree, indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old, a misdemeanor of the second degree, unlawful contact with a minor – sexual offenses, a felony of the first degree, and possession of child pornography and corruption of minors, both felonies of the third degree.
An immediate investigation was launched after Detective Bucci was contacted by Officer Nicci Young of the Media Borough Police Department. On July 6, 2018, Officer Young was dispatched to the report of a sexual assault complaint at an organization that offers support to adolescent youth. Investigation revealed that during a meeting at the support group, defendant Bryce Phillips met the victim who was 14-years-old at the time. Phillips told the group several times that he was in the police academy and had a license to carry a concealed firearm, and later identified himself to the group as a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department. Bryce Phillips began to contact the victim by texting, calling, snapchat, and other social media applications.
Investigation revealed that on June 11, 2018, Bryce Phillips picked the 14-year old minor up to play mini-golf where Phillips made sexual remarks and propositioned the victim for oral sex. Bryce Phillips then forced the victim into performing oral sex and threatened to involuntarily commit victim into a mental health facility.
CID Sergeant Kenneth Bellis and Detective Bucci contacted Dickinson City Police Officer Will Bilinski and Lackawanna County Detective Kolcharno, who is also a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. As a result of their efforts, on December 20, 2018, a search warrant was served at the residence of Bryce Phillips located in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. Detectives seized a cellular telephone from Bryce Phillips, which was analyzed and depicted chat logs and five digital images depicting nude, sexually explicit prepubescent females.
“The actions of the defendant, Bryce Phillips, are repugnant and inconceivable, as he not only sexually abused an innocent child, but further exploited this child by falsely claiming to be an authority figure,” said District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland. “In partnership with our local police departments, detectives with CID and the ICAC Task Force, we will continue to actively work daily to locate and arrest individuals who seek to take advantage of innocent children for their own sexual gratification. I commend Media Borough Police Officer Nicci Young for her immediate response, along with CID Detective Bucci and Detective Sergeant Kenneth Bellis and our Delaware County ICAC Task Force, and Dickinson City Police Officer Will Bilinski and Lackawanna County Detective Chris Kolcharno, who provided tremendous assistance with this case to ensure the safety of this innocent victim and for the work they do every day to protect children across our Commonwealth from dangerous predators.”
Bryce Phillips was arraigned on March 7, 2019 by Magisterial District Judge Andrea B. Puppio who set bail at ten percent of $500,000. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 21, 2019.
CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREOF, ARE ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNLESS AND UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 8, 2019
CONTACT PERSON: Chelsey L. Price