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‘Dirty Santa’ faces child sex charges for trying to meet fictitious underage girl

A Santa portrayer from the Northeast allegedly traveled to a Ridley ice cream parlor to meet a teen for sex.


A Santa portrayer from the Northeast is facing felony charges in Delaware County after he allegedly traveled to a Ridley Township ice cream parlor on Wednesday to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.

The 14-year-old girl wasn’t real, however.

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Instead, a squad of Delaware County cops greeted William T. McKinlay, 56, as he arrived at the shop. They arrested him for attempted statutory sexual assault, criminal use of a communication facility and related offenses.

The Delco District Attorney’s Office released the following details of the investigation:

Officer Tim Kearney of the Ridley police first made contact with McKinlay on April 12 via a web-based classified advertisement. The heading on the ad stated “young uns — m4w (NE).” Kearney assumed the profile of a 14-year-old girl and responded to the ad.

He and McKinlay, of the 900 block of Marcella St. in Oxford Circle, began to exchange sexually explicit messages, the DA said. Over the next month, McKinlay allegedly instructed the “girl” how to masturbate, instructed her to try it at home and told her to report back to him with graphic details. Further, McKinlay allegedly sent a photo of himself to the investigator in which he simulated sexual activity.

McKinlay referred to himself as “dirty old Santa,” the DA said.

In other online conversations, McKinlay allegedly told the investigator he wanted to see her naked and that he could teach her about sex. On June 14, they arranged to meet at the ice cream parlor on June 21. McKinlay allegedly told the investigator to wear little clothing.

Members of the Ridley Police Department, the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force were waiting for McKinlay when he showed up at the ice cream shop with his long white beard and wearing a bright red shirt.

Police investigated McKinlay’s background and learned that he has been a seasonal employee at a Macy’s store in Philadelphia. Authorities didn’t specify which store or if McKinlay portrayed Santa there.

McKinlay is being held at Delaware County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 10. ••

William Kenny can be reached at 215–354–3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com. Follow the Times on Twitter @NETimesOfficial.

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