'Swiss Cheese Pervert' being treated, to be tried by jury

PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX 29 Christopher Pagano is due back in court in April.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX 29 Christopher Pagano is due back in court in April.
Posted: January 31, 2014

THE so-called Swiss Cheese Pervert is receiving "inpatient treatment," a judge was told yesterday.

Just what type of treatment Christopher Pagano is undergoing was not revealed in court by his lawyer, Richard Quinton Hark, who also declined to specify it during an interview.

Pagano, the Norristown man arrested in January for flashing his cheese-accessorized penis, was not in court to hear that his preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 10.

The District Attorney's Office also informed Municipal Judge Wendy L. Pew that it will try Pagano by a jury rather than by judge, which it has a legal right to do despite the charges being misdemeanors.

Hark criticized that decision as overkill designed to get a harsher punishment in the event of a conviction.

"In a time of severe courtroom overcrowding and limited judicial budgets, while we respect the commonwealth's right to ask for a jury trial, we think that Philadelphia Municipal Court and its judges are more than capable of handling this case," Hark said.

"Significantly, they are asking for a jury trial on a case that does not involve any alleged physical contact with adults or minors and he never got out of his car," he added.

Assistant District Attorney Susan Cho declined to comment on why her office decided to try Pagano by jury.

Pagano, 41, was arrested Jan. 16 after a weeklong manhunt and charged with indecent exposure, stalking, harassment and open lewdness for allegedly driving around Mayfair and exposing his penis-with-cheese to three unsuspecting women.

Pagano allegedly asked the women to perform sexual acts on him using a piece of Swiss cheese.

Pagano, who is married with a daughter, has acted cheesy in the past, according to court records.

In 2006, he was arrested by two undercover Norristown cops during a prostitution sting after offering them "$20 to wrap Swiss cheese around [his] penis and masturbate him," an affidavit said.

Three years later, a Norristown woman told police that Pagano approached her with a block of Swiss cheese and offered her $20 to rub it on his penis, according to an affidavit.

Pagano was charged with criminal solicitation and disorderly conduct in both cases. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and the solicitation charges were dismissed, court records show.

In the current Philadelphia case, Pagano posted 10 percent of his $30,000 bail on Jan. 19, court records show.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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