Andrew Spedden can’t stay out of prison

Andrew Spedden lost his last chance in court today.

County officials tried to find another place to help Spedden with his sexual addictions, after his therapists discharged him for having inappropriate sexual contact with a man in his counseling group.

But no group would accept the 36-year-old city man, due to what a judge said was Spedden’s inability to control his actions and his manipulative behavior.

So now Spedden will receive his therapy behind bars, in a state prison, while he serves a 1 1/2- to three-year sentence for violating his parole on child pornography charges.

“You always want to see how close you can skate to the line,” Lancaster County Judge James Cullen told Spedden. “In doing that, you skate over it.”

Spedden was arrested in 2003 for having what city police said at the time was the largest known collection of child pornography in the county’s history. Police found the collection while investigating an unrelated credit card case.

He was charged with 74 counts of sexual abuse against children for possessing about 1,000 sexually explicit images of child pornography. Those charges were consolidated into one count of possessing pornography, to which Spedden pleaded guilty.

But he has violated his parole several times. In 2006, he admitted approaching children for sex and viewing pornography on computers, according to past reports. He was put back in prison.

Then earlier this year, he violated his parole again, by having inappropriate contact with a fellow therapy group member.

The court looked for another group to take Spedden, but none would.

“It appears they view him as inappropriate for outpatient treatment,” Cullen said.

Spedden acknowledged violating his parole and apologized for his actions.

“I am not proud of them,” he said. “It is a very heavy burden for me to bear.”

“I do have a struggle with conforming with what’s expected of me,” he said.

However, Spedden said he did not fully understand the rules regarding contact between him and other members of his therapy group. He noted that he was allowed to drive another member of the group, an Amish man, to therapy sessions because the man did not drive.

He was trying to help the second man, he said, by allowing him to stay with him because he did not have housing.

Cullen appeared flabbergasted by that response, noting that Spedden always seemed to have an excuse or justification for his behavior.

“There is simply no comparison,” the judge said, between giving a ride to someone and engaging in sexual conduct with someone.

Cullen noted that Spedden will receive credit for about six months he already has served in prison. He also recommended that Spedden should be housed in a prison that emphasizes sexual offender treatment.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

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