Ex-coach agrees to Megan's Law classification

Vincent Mickle, the Northeast Philadelphia man and sometime volunteer girls soccer coach who pleaded guilty last June to sex charges involving six teenage girls he courted on Facebook and MySpace, has waived a Philadelphia court hearing to determine if he should be classified as a “sexually violent predator.”

The classification under Pennsylvania’s version of Megan’s Law carries the toughest restrictions for convicted sex criminals once they get out of prison. By waiving a legal ruling by Common Pleas Court Judge Denis P. Cohen during a brief court appearance Friday morning, Mickle agreed to be classified as such.

Cohen set sentencing for March 19.

Explaining the Megan’s Law classification to Mickle, Assistant District Attorney Gwenn Cujdik said that when he completes his prison term Mickle will be required to report his whereabouts for the rest of his life. On release, she said, he must immediately report to probation and parole and provide the state police with the address where he will live.

Every year thereafter, Cujdik continued, Mickle will get a date on which he must reregister with state authorities verifying his address, employment and providing a new photograph. If he changes address or job in the meantime, he has 48 hours to notify authorities.

Mickle will also be required to attend monthly counseling sessions when released.

The penalties for failing to register or providing inaccurate information are severe. Cujdik said a first failure to register carries a 5- to 10-year prison term; the second failure to register, or providing any inaccurate information, carry a 10- to 20-year prison term.

Flanked by defense attorney Michael P. Parkinson, Mickle, 34, a short athletically built man with a graying buzz-cut who has been in prison since his March 2010 arrest, quietly acknowledged that he understood the implications by waiving the Megan’s Law hearing.

In pleading guilty, Mickle admitted a pattern of conduct that ran between the summer of 2007 through his arrest.

In addition to committing sex acts with one 16-year-old, Mickle met with the others, whom he plied with alcohol or marijuana in unsuccessful attempts at getting them to commit sex acts.

Mickle was arrested in March 2010 after a 16-year-old reported his overtures to police. A sometime volunteer soccer coach for Lighthouse Soccer Club, a nonprofit Northeast youth group, Mickle did not victimize the girls he coached, authorities said.

Authorities said Mickle befriended the girls online and then groomed them for sexual encounters, sending the girls photos of his penis and requesting seminude photos of the teens. The child pornography counts to which he pleaded guilty involved 15 images of children — including some sent by Mickle’s victims — found on Mickle’s computer in a March 4, 2010 police search of his house.