Scranton, Pa

Former Montgomery County Substitute Teacher Arrested for Child Sex Trafficking and Related Charges

Posted: June 12, 2024

On June 1, the Springfield Township Police Department arrested Tyler Degiacomo of Oreland for his alleged role in the trafficking of minors and sexual abuse of children. Degiacomo, 33, was a former substitute teacher, a school volunteer, PIAA umpire, and baseball coach in Montgomery County’s Springfield Township. His 43 charges include multiple counts each of trafficking in individuals, unlawful contact with minors, sexual abuse of children, producing and disseminating child sexual abuse material, child pornography, statutory sexual assault, corruption of minors, criminal use of a communication facility, indecent assault of minors, and selling or furnishing liquor to minors.

Springfield Township Police Chief Michael Pitkow explained that the investigation began in March 2024, when a concerned parent contacted police to report that she discovered child sexual abuse material on her daughter’s phone that she was sending to a man in his 30s named ‘Tyler.’ Through their subsequent investigation, police said they were able to identify Degiacomo as the alleged recipient. Police claim they found more than 100,000 communications between the two. After executing several search warrants and conducting digital forensic examinations of his electronic devices, officials said they were able to identify four victims.

Two of Degiacomo’s alleged victims are minors from Montgomery County, with whom Degiacomo is alleged to have had sexual relations and been involved in the production and transmission of child sexual abuse materials.

Another victim is from Clarion County, with whom Degiacomo is alleged to have exchanged money for child sexual abuse materials.

The fourth victim is from Houston County, Alabama, and police say Degiacomo coerced the victim into sending child sexual abuse materials.

Police say Degiacomo’s communications with victims allegedly date back to January of this year, in which Degiacomo details meeting up with his minor victims at his Oreland apartment building, nearby parking lots, or local hotels.

Investigators claim that Degiacomo contacted each victim on TikTok, Snapchat or both. Degiacomo allegedly pressured victims to comply with his demands to form a sexual relationship in exchange for cash, vapes, alcohol, or other items. In one exchange, Degiacomo allegedly sent a victim messages stating “Do you want money or not?” and “Are you going to do something for it?” In another exchange, Degiacomo allegedly told a victim to “answer [his] messages or else.” Victims purportedly told police they complied with Degiacomo’s requests and performed sex acts out of fear.

In a statement to the community, the Springfield Township School District said that Degiacomo was a substitute teacher from 2018 to 2019, during which time he provided all required safety clearances prior to his employment. The statement also related that during that period, Degiacomo volunteered with the drama department before a parent complaint and subsequent investigation “yielded enough concern that [the district] chose to remove Mr. Degiacomo as a volunteer” and request that he no longer sub in the district. In the statement, the superintendent noted that at that time, the district reported the results of their investigation to all appropriate agencies, and emphasized that the parent’s complaint did not rise to the severity of the charges Degiacomo currently faces.

Degiacomo was arraigned on June 1, when his bail was set at $500,000 cash. He was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility until he posted bail on June 10. His preliminary hearing, originally scheduled for June 11, was continued to July 9.

The CSE Institute applauds the Springfield Township Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for their diligent and thorough work in investigating, arresting, and prosecuting Degiacomo. Under Pennsylvania law, a person is guilty of child sex trafficking if they recruit, entice, solicit, advertise, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain a person under 18 for any sex act in exchange for anything of value. Based on the reported facts, Degiacomo’s conduct meets the elements for this crime by soliciting and coercing minors to engage in sex acts with him in exchange for money, vapes, and alcohol.

Law enforcement must continue taking steps to protect children in their communities by conducting investigations into child sexual abuse. Predators often connect with potential victims via social media or other platforms. Parents should monitor their children’s internet usage and report any suspicious contacts. Vigilant oversight from parents and law enforcement are essential to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Anyone who has more information about Degiacomo is asked to contact Detective Stephen Craig at (215) 836-1601 x1232.

The CSE Institute will continue to provide updates on this matter as they become available.

All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.

Category: News

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