Becker appeared before Judge Stephen Simanek to change his not guilty plea to guilty on the two felony charges. In exchange for the plea, District Attorney Mike Nieskes agreed to dismiss six felony counts against Becker, including possession of child pornography and misconduct in public office.
With the guilty pleas, Becker could be sentenced to 20 years in prison for the attempted sexual assault and 25 years for child enticement. Simanek is scheduled to sentence Becker on March 3. Becker remains free on
Following the hearing, Nieskes, left, said he was happy with the plea and would recommend prison time for Becker.
"He has 45 years of possible exposure," he said. "I think that is adequate."
The surface of Tuesday's hearing was mundane. Becker appeared with his attorney, Patrick Cafferty, and Nieskes appeared as the lone representative of the DA's office.
Simanek ran through a series of procedures to ensure Becker understood what he was admitting to and that there would be no trial. Becker answered most questions with, "Yes, your honor."
Attention now turns to the sentencing hearing, where Becker could receive anything from 45 years in prison to probation, depending on Simanek's ruling.
The sentencing hearing will be a mini-trial in itself. Nieskes said he intended to introduce into court further evidence of Becker's online habits, including child pornography and additional online chats.
Nieskes also laid out a potential strategy for Becker to argue for a lesser sentence. He asked the court to require Cafferty to provide any of Becker's medical records he intended to enter at sentencing. The records would include any findings of the doctors at the Philadelphia clinic where Becker was treated for sex addiction.
Judge Stephen Simanek
Ostensibly, Cafferty could argue Becker was suffering from a medical condition at the time of his arrest and should, because of treatment, receive a lesser sentence.
Nieskes said he was satisfied with the plea deal because Becker plead "guilty" instead of "no contest" to the charges. While it's something a semantic difference, Nieskes said Becker's plea means he accepts responsibility for his actions.
If he plead no contest, Nieskes said, it would mean the prosecution could prove its case, but he wasn't actually admitting to the crimes. Tuesday's hearing means Becker admitted to the crime and will now be sentenced for it.