A former Philadelphia police officer who offered cash for sex with another officer who was posing as a 17-year-old boy was sentenced Friday by a Philadelphia judge to 111/2 to 23 months in prison.
Arrested in December in a sting operation, Adrian Makuch, 50, said his conduct was "an uncalled-for action. Had I realized they were that young, I would never have approached."
Common Pleas Court Judge Karen Shreeves-Johns told Makuch that, as a police officer for 22 years, he should have known he was breaking the law. She called his conduct "grossly disturbing. . . . You should have been held to a higher standard."
Makuch's prison term was more than twice that recommended under state sentencing guidelines. Shreeves-Johns said she had to protect the public because Makuch was unable to control his sexual urges.
In addition to jail, he was put on seven years of reporting probation, required to undergo sex-offender counseling, and barred from unsupervised contact with minors.
Makuch, whose last eight years on the force were with the Crime Scene Unit, pleaded guilty March 11 to unlawful contact with a minor for prostitution, luring a child into a motor vehicle, and patronizing prostitutes.
He was caught in December soliciting sex from a 22-year-old police officer posing as a teen. His arrest followed a yearlong Internal Affairs probe that began when a 15-year-old Northeast Philadelphia boy told police Makuch asked him to pose for nude photos. After he was arrested, Makuch lost his job.
On Friday, the boy's father told the judge that Makuch went beyond one inappropriate advance. He said his son was "stalked by this defendant" and felt so threatened, he feared going outside.
"You stole two years of his teenage life," the father added.
Defense attorney Gerald S. Stanshine said Makuch could legally have sex with another male over 16 providing money did not change hands. By making overtures to the 15-year-old, Makuch violated the child-luring statute, Stanshine said.
Assistant District Attorney Evangelia Manos argued for a maximum prison term, saying, "He was not looking for adults. He was looking for underage children."
Manos said that on one occasion, police responding to a child-stalking report confronted Makuch as he talked to an underage boy. When Makuch was identified as an officer, they decided the radio report was unfounded.
"He had his free pass," Manos added.
Contact staff writer Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.