Farry, Tomlinson, and Hogan Advocate for Enhanced DNA Technology in Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice System

On June 2, 2024, State Senator Frank Farry, along with Representatives K.C. Tomlinson and Joe Hogan, stressed the importance of DNA technology in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system during a press conference in Feasterville.

The event took place at Comic Collection, the scene of a violent robbery in September 2022, where DNA evidence eventually led to the arrest of two suspects 18 months later.

Sen. Farry and his colleagues are working to introduce legislation that would require DNA samples to be collected from individuals arrested for felonies or specific misdemeanors, much like the current practice of fingerprinting. This initiative aims to boost public safety, provide closure for crime victims, and maintain the integrity of the criminal justice system.

The proposed bills, SB988 and HB2030, intend to close existing gaps by mandating DNA collection from those convicted of criminal homicide, aiding in the resolution of cold cases. These measures highlight the crucial role of DNA evidence in both exonerating the innocent and ensuring accurate convictions.

First Assistant District Attorney Ed Louka commended the proposed legislation, emphasizing the significant role DNA evidence plays in prosecuting offenders and clearing innocent suspects. He pointed out the need for timely DNA sample collection to enhance public safety.

Rep. Tomlinson called the bill “necessary, needed, and common sense,” noting its potential to definitively determine guilt or innocence. Rep. Hogan added that these practices would bring Pennsylvania in line with 19 other states and the federal government, modernizing the state’s criminal justice system and protecting the public from serial offenders while preventing wrongful convictions.

The Springfield Township Police Department is seeking additional information related to this case. Anyone with relevant information is encouraged to contact Detective Stephen Craig at (215) 836-1601 x 1232.

In a related development, Tyler Degiacomo, 33, has been arrested on multiple charges connected to the trafficking and sexual abuse of minors, according to the Springfield Township Police Department.

His charges include trafficking minors, unlawful contact with a minor, sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors, criminal use of a communication facility, indecent assault, and furnishing alcohol to minors.

The investigation began in March 2024 after a concerned parent discovered child sexual abuse material on her daughter’s phone, sent by a man named “Tyler” via text message.

Detectives identified this man as Degiacomo, who resides in Oreland. Degiacomo had previously worked as a substitute teacher and volunteer with the School District of Springfield Township and was also a PIAA umpire and baseball coach.

Investigators used digital forensic examinations and search warrants to identify four victims: two from Montgomery County, one from Clarion County, and one from Houston County, Alabama. It was found that Degiacomo had contacted these victims through social media apps TikTok and Snapchat.

The School District of Springfield Township issued a statement noting that Degiacomo had briefly volunteered with the middle school drama department.

After a parent complaint and subsequent investigation, he was removed from his volunteer position, and the district requested that the substitute service no longer assign him to their schools. The initial complaint did not reveal the severity of the current charges.

The Springfield Township Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying any additional victims. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Stephen Craig at (215) 836-1601 x 1232. Degiacomo has been arraigned with bail set at $500,000 and is currently being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

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