Neighbors upset by judge considering house arrest for man accused of burglaries, trespassing

He is currently in jail for a separate accusation of attempted sexual assault.

Steve Tawa
October 15, 2018 - 1:25 pm
Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice

Kristen Johanson | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia judge heard a bail motion by the district attorney's office to keep a man locked up, following several burglaries and tresspassing cases in Northern Liberties that escalated to an alleged attempted rape.

Assistant DA Anthony Gil is handling seven open property cases against 21-year-old Lakim Wilson, who is currently being held on $100,000 bail in connection with the alleged sexual offense.

"What Mr. Wilson has shown is that he's a one-man crime spree in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia," Gil said.

Gil says since September 2017, residents have seen him lurking, peering through windows, trying to open doors, and following women on the street. One woman testified she even posted Facebook page surveillance video of Wilson ringing 26 doors in her complex, telling him on the intercom, "We know who you are." She told the judge he has a "catch me if you can" attitude.

Neighbor Michael Mullen says he and his wife have video of Wilson trying to break in.

"We called the cops, and as that Facebook post went out, 11 other homes that night reported that he was trying to break in to their homes," Mullen said.

A lawyer for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Danielle Oppenheim, told the judge that Wilson has mental health issues, and increasing or revoking bail would lessen the chances that he could get into programs that could help him.

The captain of the 26th Police District, Krista Campbell, told the judge he's showing a pattern of an "upward trajectory of crimes," including an attemped sexual assault in September.

Much to the dismay of the more than 20 neighbors from Northern Liberties who showed up in the courtroom, Judge Stephanie Sawyer — who is handling the property crimes cases, not the alleged sexual assualt — told them she was inclined to grant house arrest, to ensure that he get treatment. Mullen says while the judge is considering delicate mental health issues, if the judge lived in their community, she might have a different view, because they don't feel that the system is protecting them.

"After an arrest, he's out there the next day doing the exact same thing. He's terrorizing our neighborhood. It feels like we're being terrorized," Mullen said.

Sawyer put off making a decision, holding it under advisement, pending Wilson's preliminary hearing later this week on the alleged sexual offense.