NORRISTOWN – Having lost his appeal, an Upper Pottsgrove man is headed to jail next month for burglarizing the Pottstown home of a couple he met on a swingers website.
Wayne Matthew Rafferty, 30, of Mauger’s Mill Road, who was convicted of burglary-related charges after a nonjury trial in October 2010 and sentenced to jail, was back in Montgomery County Court on Wednesday where he learned he must begin serving his sentence after his appeal was denied by the Pennsylvania Superior Court last week.
“We took this case to trial because we had the evidence and I’m happy that the Superior Court affirmed the verdict,” said Assistant District Attorney Alec O’Neill. “Now, it’s only appropriate he serve the sentence for the crime he committed.”
Judge Thomas P. Rogers sentenced Rafferty to six-to-23-months in the county jail, to be followed by three years’ probation, in connection with the April 2009 break-in at the North Price Street home of his onetime swingers’ friends. Rafferty, who had been free on bail pending the appeal of his conviction, must report to jail on Sept. 3 to begin serving the sentence.
The judge said Rafferty must serve the first 30 days of the sentence behind bars, with the remainder of the sentence to be served under house arrest. That means Rafferty will be permitted to leave his home only for court-approved purposes.
The judge further ordered Rafferty to have no contact with the victims and to complete any counseling that may be recommended by probation officials.
Rogers, who convicted Rafferty of the charges during the 2010 nonjury trial, ordered Rafferty to pay $2,791 in restitution to the victims.
At the time of the trial, O’Neill alleged Rafferty committed the crime because he wanted to hurt the victims, not in a financial sense, but in an emotional sense, claiming Rafferty’s crime wasn’t a typical burglary that targets expensive items but instead was one that targeted items that had sentimental value.
The victims reported that among the items taken during the burglary were two laptop computers, “which include nude pictures of all four adults,” bras and underwear belonging to the victims, and gifts that had been exchanged between the couples, including 15 to 20 bottles of wine, various sex toys, a crepe maker and photographs, court papers indicate.
An investigation of Rafferty began on April 25, 2009, when a tenant of the North Price Street home notified borough police that she returned home after work and found it had been ransacked. The owners of the home, a husband and wife, were on vacation at the time of the break-in, court papers indicate.
“The officers observed almost all the kitchen cabinets open, an empty wine rack, numerous empty jewelry boxes and pictures strewn on the floor, a door to the combination safe open, and various dresser drawers and nightstand drawers open in the master bedroom,” Pottstown Police Officer Frank Glaser wrote in the arrest affidavit.
When the husband and wife victims returned home they told police they suspected Rafferty had something to do with the burglary, court papers indicate.
The victims reported that in September 2006, “they began a consensual adult sexual relationship with Wayne Rafferty and his wife” and communicated via a swinger’s website, according to the criminal complaint.
“(The victims) reported as the relationship evolved, Wayne was provided with the combination to their safe,” Glaser alleged, adding the information was provided to Rafferty so that he could retrieve “important papers” in the event something happened to the victims.
However, by July 2008, the victims’ relationship with Rafferty “had become strained,” police said. The victims told police that Rafferty had become “possessive and jealous” and upset about the victims speaking with other couples.
On the morning of July 22, 2008, the victims found Rafferty standing in their kitchen, according to court papers. One of the victims sent an email to Rafferty and Rafferty’s wife the same day, “dissolving the relationship” and advising Rafferty and his wife to not contact the victims in the future, according to the arrest affidavit....