A picture taken by a woman of Pagano. Credit: Twitter
With his wife at his side, Chris Pagano, 42, the man dubbed the 'Swiss Cheese Pervert' for sexually harassing women in cars from his vehicle by waving cheese at them, wrapping it around his exposed penis, and asking them to masturbate him with it, entered a Philadelphia courtroom and pled guilty to six misdemeanor charges of harassment and indecent exposure today.
Pagano, of Norristown, was sentenced to eight years' probation, two years for each of the four female victims who came forward. Each victim reportedly was harassed by Pagano from a car around Northeast Philly.
"I can tell you that he's sorry and remorseful," said Pagano's defense attorney, Mark Hauser. "It's an embarrassing activity. It attracted more attention than it should have."
If he approaches one of his victims again or otherwise violates probation, he would face an eight-year sentence. He is also prohibited from driving a car for one year unless it is for work, medical reasons or to go to church.
Christopher Pagano. Credit: PPD
Pagano declined to speak to media after the hearing.
But before sentence was handed down, Pagano said that he was in counseling and had been prescribed Prozac.
"The first day I met him, he acknowledged what he did," Hauser said. "He admitted his actions. He admitted he needed help."
As part of the guilty plea with prosecutors, Pagano must stay away from all of his victims.
While the hearing was at an interval, Pagano asked his attorney about how to obey the stay-away orders from his four victims that are part of his probation terms.
"I don't even know who they are," he could be heard saying.
Hauser advised him that if he ever happened to see a victim, he should immediately go away from them.
Pagano pleaded guilty to three incidents in January where he variously waved cheese at women who were driving from his car, and in some cases offered them money to masturbate him with it.
The fourth victim, who came forward after the previous three incidents were reported, reported that Pagano harassed her in October 2013 and offered her $100 to watch him "wrap cheese around his penis," according to prosecutor Susan Cho.
He reportedly told that victim "he liked to wrap it around his penis because he liked the way it felt," Cho said.
All the victims were able to drive away from Pagano. In at least two instances, he followed the victim for several minutes in his car, Cho said, but eventually drove off.
The story was reported on internationally after cell-phone photographs two of the women snapped of Pagano with cheese were released. He was arrested on Jan. 16, 2014.
Prosecutors never sought jail-time for Pagano, according to Hauser, as Pagano did not deny his guilt and agreed to seek mental health evaluations and treatment.
However, Cho said at the hearing that if the case had gone to trial Pagano could have faced a maximum sentence of up to 25 years.
"I think the charges he pled guilty to were appropriate," Hauser said of the case's outcome.