On Monday, October 26th, Delaware Country District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer announced that 70-year-old Edward Lilly of Boothwyn was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a minor and paying her $2,000 for her silence. Lilly is charged with 10 counts each of child pornography and knowingly photographing or videotaping a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexual acts, all felonies of the second degree, as well as one first-degree felony charge of communicating with a minor to facilitate sexual abuse, one count of criminal use a communication facility, a third-degree felony, and one misdemeanor count of corruption of minors.
Authorities allege that Lilly, a pastor at the Christian Church of Chester, met the victim at a supermarket in 2017 when she was 16 years old. Over the next year, investigators say Lilly groomed the victim for a sexual relationship, which then began when she was 17. According to the criminal complaint, Lilly filmed the child performing sex acts and sent and received sexual videos and photos of the minor victim. The police have reported that the sex acts occurred at multiple locations including Lilly’s home, a rented recreational vehicle, hotel rooms and Henry Johnson Park in Trainer, PA.
Within the realm of commercial sexual exploitation, predators will groom their victims by inserting themselves into the victim’s life by expressing a shared interest and making themselves indispensable as a trusted mentor or friend in order to fabricate a sense of comfort. As stated by Stollsteimer, “references of a sexual nature will then be inserted into conversations where they don’t belong in an effort to normalize that talk and break down the barrier to having sex.” Along with the advice provided by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, we encourage parents and guardians to remain vigilant about their child’s whereabouts and maintain communication with their children as it pertains to where and with whom they choose to spend their time. It is also imperative that parents remain aware of their children’s’ use of technology to contact and communicate with others.
The CSE Institute is encouraged by the diligence of the Delaware County District Attorney’s office that lead to Lilly’s arrest. It is imperative that law enforcement remain vigilant about protecting the youth in their communities and conducting investigations that target child sexual abuse. As stated by District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, “In Delaware County, we have zero tolerance for anyone who wants to sexually abuse or exploit our children, and we will hunt you down and we will bring you to justice.” Stollsteimer recognizes the fact that Lilly may have groomed others in the same manner and urges anyone who suspects their child may have been victimized to call the District Attorney’s office at 610-891-4161. The CSE Institute will continue to monitor Lilly’s case and will provide updates when they become available.