Perv youth-soccer coach sentenced to jail

Posted: June 12, 2012

VINCENT MICKLE, sometimes calling himself "Hot Vinny," once cruised the Internet with confidence to meet young women whom he eventually entertained in person with alcohol and marijuana. He had sex with one, tried to have sex with others and exchanged nude pictures.

The only problem was that the six young women were very young — ages 14, 15 and 16. In October 2009, Philadelphia police got a tip about Mickle from one of the girls, who became afraid after he showed up at one of her field-hockey games.

They arrested Mickle, 35, in March 2010, and charged him with multiple counts of sexual abuse, unlawful contact with a minor, child pornography and related crimes.

Mickle, a single father of a 13-year-old girl who once volunteered to coach a girls' soccer club in the Northeast, pleaded guilty last June and was back in court in handcuffs Monday to be sentenced.

After hearing emotional statements from the mothers of two of Mickle's young victims, and from Mickle, who literally begged for "mercy" through tears, Common Pleas Judge Denis P. Cohen sentenced the Mayfair man to 12 1/2 to 25 years in state prison and five years of probation. The court had previously ruled that Mickle, an electrician, is a "sexually violent predator" under the state's Megan's Law, meaning he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Mickle, who has two DUI convictions, used his MySpace account on his home computer to meet girls, Detective Edward Lichtenhahn, of the Special Victims Unit, told Cohen.

A search of his computer revealed 400 sexual images, 75 of which were child pornography, and pages of text messages with the girls, Lichtenhahn said. "Countless pages of texting ... It was like it was all day long. I read until I was blurry-eyed," he said.

"I wish I could revisit the past and change my actions," said a weeping Mickle. "I know if I were in your shoes I'd be outraged," he said to the families of his victims.

Assistant District Attorneys Gwenn Cujdik and Jack O'Neill asked for a 20- to 40-year sentence. Cujdik said Mickle should not get credit for having pleaded guilty, calling it "damage control," because the evidence against him was overwhelming. Defense attorneys Michael Patrick Parkinson and Timothy Tarpey asked for three to six years, calling Mickle a remorseful alcoholic deserving of a second chance. n

Contact Mensah M. Dean at 215-568-8278 or deanm@philly.com.

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