Tearful Sex Offender Gets 5 To 20 Years In Prison

Posted: March 01, 1988

Admitted sex offender David Cranshaw poured out his life story to a Delaware County judge yesterday, but it did no good.

Cranshaw still got the maximum prison sentence - five to 20 years on charges that he videotaped himself having sex with a 15-year-old Philadelphia youth at his sister's apartment in Upper Darby during the summer of 1986.

Cranshaw, 35, entered a sobbing, halting 10-minute guilty plea to charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sexual abuse of children.

The gaunt ex-Marine blamed society for failing to curb his compulsion. He blamed the state of Georgia - where he was jailed for seven years on similar charges - for failing to give him the proper psychotherapy. He blamed the Marines for failing to help him control his urges.

"I just want this to end. I can't go on," Cranshaw pleaded, mopping tears with a white handkerchief. "I read books about lobotomies, castration, anything. Stop me. This isn't me."

Common Pleas Court Judge Clement J. McGovern Jr. listened intently, his elbow on the bench, his chin propped on his hand.

"I am sympathetic, and I'd agree with you that society is guilty of an almost criminal disconcern with mental problems that afflict its citizens," he said. "In criminal court, however, you can't transfer your responsibility to our society where in our country we hold each man responsible for his actions."

McGovern then sentenced Cranshaw to five to 20 years for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and gave him 10 years' probation for sexual abuse of children. He also ordered Cranshaw to undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment and to pay for the victim's psychiatric treatment.

Assistant District Attorney Louis Stesis said that Cranshaw and the boy met in 1986 through a relative of Cranshaw's and that the two became friends. Cranshaw, who then was living in Rosemont, often would take the boy to the Radnor convenience store where he worked, Stesis said.

Cranshaw said he had served four years in the Marine Corps, stationed in Camp Lejeune, N.C. He said he had asked the base commander for help with his problem and was referred to the Marine psychiatrist, who said he could not help and signed Cranshaw's administrative discharge in 1974.

Cranshaw said he then moved to Atlanta and asked the Veterans Administration there for help. No program was available, he said.

In 1979, Cranshaw was arrested and served seven years of a 15-year sentence in Georgia prisons for child molestation, said his attorney, Larry Maggitti

In jail, a doctor brought him books on child molestation. "But before I could read them," Cranshaw said, "I got stabbed nine times" by another inmate.

Once out of prison, in the mid-1980s, "I was doing good, my family was supportive," said Cranshaw. But he said he could not afford the $1,000 treatment program recommended for him at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. So again, he said, he gave in to the urges.

Cranshaw was arrested in September in New Port Richey, Fla., his most recent address.

Police there recognized him when he came in to retrieve videotape equipment that had been recovered after burglars stole it from his home. They arrested him and phoned Philadelphia police, saying they had identified him as the man having sex with a teenage boy on the videotape. He later waived extradition and was turned over to Delaware County authorities.

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