[Patch has decided to withhold the names of both defendants in order to protect the identity of the child.]
Plymouth Township Police have filed charges against a 65-year-old man and 48-year-old woman, both of Plymouth Meeting, alleging that the two conspired to sexually abuse the woman's 8-year-old son over a two-year period.
The alleged abuse first came to the attention of police in early September when the boy's father, who is divorced from his wife, brought in a videotape of a conversation he had with his son. In the video, the boy discussed how he repeatedly had "tickle time" and "naked time" with his mother's boyfriend, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The boy also said that he and his mother's boyfriend would lie naked in bed and watch SpongeBob cartoons during these times. In a subsequent police interview, the boy also said that he and his mother's boyfriend would help each other undress, and that the suspect would touch his hips, butt, nipples, and belly button, the affidavit said.
The child also allegedly told police that his mother was aware of this behavior and was comfortable with it. Police stated that they believe the alleged abuses occurred over a two-year period.
Upon speaking with the boy's mother, police said that she stated "naked time" was instigated by the child before bed, when he and the boyfriend would lie naked in bed watching television and telling stories. She further said that the behavior was "something that is good and nurturing," police said.
Upon speaking with the mother's boyfriend, police said that he stated the behavior had been going on for approximately two months and that it only occurred "when the child asks for it." The suspect also stated that the acts were not sexual but were to "improve the [child's] self-esteem and to overcome feelings of rejection from his father and a myriad of self-doubt and insecurity," police said.
Both defendants face felony charges of indecent assault of a minor, endangering the welfare of a child, and conspiracy; misdemeanor charges of indecent assault of a person with mental disability and corruption of minors; and related charges.
Both suspects were arraigned Tuesday before magisterial district judge Francis Bernhardt, III, and released on $50,000 bail. They are both scheduled for preliminary hearings in October.