NORRISTOWN — A Philadelphia man will spend up to 14 years behind bars after he admitted to having indecent and sexual contact with three underage girls while they were in his company on separate occasions in Bridgeport.
Ronald Eugene Berry, 66, of the 5000 block of North Franklin Street, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 7 to 14 years in a state correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of statutory sexual assault of a victim under 16, indecent assault of a person under 13 and corruption of minors in connection with incidents that occurred at locations in Bridgeport in 2021.
Judge Steven T. O’Neill, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered Berry to complete three years probation following parole, meaning Berry will be under court supervision for a total of 17 years.
The judge ordered Berry to undergo a psychosexual evaluation and to comply with all recommendations for treatment.
Berry was ordered to have no contact with the victims or their families.
Berry also faces a lifetime requirement to report his address to state police in order to comply with Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.
Berry will undergo an evaluation by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board which will determine if he meets the criteria to be classified as a sexually violent predator. Those classified as predators face more stringent restrictions while serving the probationary and parole periods.
“The defendant admitted to engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with three different children all under the age of 10 years old,” said Assistant District Attorney Karla Pisarcik, who sought the state prison term against Berry. “This was extremely traumatizing to the children.”
Pisarcik said the plea agreement saved the victims from the trauma of having to testify at a trial and facing Berry in court.
“So this was a good outcome,” Pisarcik said. “The defendant taking accountability for this case surely will help these children close out this chapter of their lives and be able to move forward, hopefully feeling some sense of justice because the defendant took accountability for what he did. But surely it’s never going to erase what the defendant did.”
Pisarcik praised the work of Bridgeport police who investigated the incidents.
“The investigation was done so well that it resulted in this plea,” Pisarcik said.
The investigation began on Jan. 16, 2021, when a woman who lived on West Front Street in Bridgeport called the police to report that she became aware that Berry sexually assaulted the girls, according to the criminal complaint filed by Bridgeport Police Officer Shannon Sell.
Berry knew the victims’ relatives, according to court documents.
When the victims were interviewed by police and child social workers they described various incidents that involved inappropriate touching and other sexual acts when they were in Berry’s company, according to the criminal complaint.
The girls told police that Berry instructed them not to tell anyone about his conduct and one girl “stated she felt like she was in danger,” Sell alleged in the arrest affidavit.
Other charges of rape of a child, attempted rape and endangering the welfare of children were dismissed against Berry as part of the plea agreement.
Defense lawyer Francis Genovese represented Berry during the court proceedings.