Larry Charles, the lawyer allegedly caught molesting a 14-year-old girl in the Criminal Justice Center on Martin Luther King Day, has been charged with sexually abusing five more girls, one of whom was only 5 when Charles first focused his indecent attentions on her, police said.
At least one victim was the child of a client whose case he handled, police said. Others were relatives of the 14-year-old with whom deputies found him naked at the Justice Center.
And in at least two cases, Charles again indulged his crude cravings for stealing young girls' innocence inside the center, police said.
All of his alleged victims were willingly entrusted to Charles' care by parents who never imagined a supposedly respectable lawyer would turn into a perverted predator who would molest their daughters for months and even years, authorities said.
"He's no different than a guy who drags a woman down the alley and rapes her at knifepoint or breaks into a home to rape the woman inside," said Lt. Thomas McDevitt of the special victims unit. "He's just as bad as that if not worse, because he's taking advantage of young children."
Detectives say there may be even more victims.
"It's possible there are more; the investigation is continuing," McDevitt said.
Charles' attorney, Angelo Cameron, couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.
Detectives had been investigating Charles, 49, since his Jan. 15 arrest, suspecting the 14-year-old wasn't his only victim, McDevitt said.
After finding the possible additional victims, they visited his East Oak Lane home Tuesday with arrest warrants but didn't find Charles there, McDevitt said.
Wednesday afternoon, the manager of a motel on Route 1 in Bensalem called police to report a misbehaving guest. Bensalem police responded, found Charles there and charged him with disorderly conduct. They took him to Lower Bucks Hospital, where he was treated for overdosing on prescription medication, police said.
Bensalem and Philadelphia police declined to provide further details.
Investigators haven't determined whether the overdose was intentional or accidental, or why he was at the motel, McDevitt said. Detectives believe that Charles knew they were seeking to arrest him, McDevitt added.
He declined to specify what medication Charles overdosed on, or whether it was prescribed to him.
Charles is now in Philadelphia police custody, awaiting arraignment.
The most recent charges - from indecent touching to rape - involve girls who now range in age from 8 to 17, McDevitt said. Their abuse dates back three or four years, he added.
"He would befriend the family in some way, and come to know the girls," McDevitt said of Charles' actions.
Charles' trial on the Jan. 15 case is scheduled for April 30, according to court records.
In that case, a sheriff's deputy, suspicious about Charles' doings on a day when the Criminal Justice Center was closed to the public, went hunting for him. He said he found him naked inside the lawyer's lounge with the girl.
The ninth-grader testified in February that the incident was just one of many rendezvous the pair had had. Charles rewarded her silence each time he molested her with cash, restaurant dinners and shopping trips for new clothes and shoes, she testified.