Batman’s leotards must be made of Teflon, because nothing seems to stick to the Northeast Philly guy who often likes to dress up as the caped crusader.
Facing a lengthy federal prison sentence for stalking Law and Order: Criminal Intent actress Kathryn Erbe, Charles Nagle on Sept. 7 managed to avoid additional jail time, beyond the tumultuous four months he had already spent in Philly and New York City lockups while awaiting trial.
Brooklyn-based U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein ordered Nagle, 38, of Glenfield Street near Patrician Drive in Modena Park, to serve five years probation and pay $42,000 in restitution to the 44-year-old actress.
Nagle may not be totally out of the woods, yet, however. His latest conviction will likely affect his ongoing probation from a 1993 child molestation conviction in Philadelphia. A judge in that case, which involved the abduction and assault of an underage girl, also spared Nagle from prison, issuing him instead an 18-year term of probation that began in 1996.
According to Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Alisa Shver, the city’s Probation Department has been reviewing Nagle’s case and may file a violation of probation within days. Nagle could be exposed to a state prison sentence of up to 16 years if he is found in violation.
Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Brown would preside over violation-of-probation proceedings. Nagle declined to answer reporters’ questions following the sentencing hearing in Brooklyn, according to the New York Post.
Inside the courtroom, however, Nagle denied having “romantic obsession” or “any malicious or salacious intentions,” regarding Erbe, the Post reported. Further, Nagle claimed that he was assaulted while in jail awaiting trial and cried for Weinstein’s mercy.
“I’m begging you to keep me with my family. I’m sorry,” Nagle sobbed, according to the Post.
The performance was a major departure for Nagle from the confident, heroic figure he liked to portray at auto shows, comic book conventions and other public events. In a 2005 interview with the Northeast Times — during which he used the pseudonym Chaz Rose — Nagle boasted that his enthusiastic portrayals of Batman at various events often upstaged appearances by former cast members of the classic ’60s TV series.
Regarding Erbe, prosecutors claimed that Nagle’s persona evolved from over-enthusiastic fan to creepy stalker over a two-year period culminating in his March 2010 arrest.
Nagle took his wife and two daughters, who are named after Batman characters, to New York in 2008 to meet Erbe at an on-location shoot in the city.
During a break in filming, Erbe greeted Nagle and allowed herself to be photographed with him. But according to prosecutors, Nagle’s dark side surfaced after security guards ushered him away from the set.
Nagle used online social networking sites and handwritten letters both to proclaim his devotion to the actress and to taunt her family, including her 14-year-old daughter.
During Nagle’s trial last fall, a tearful Erbe testified that the defendant posted a doctored photo of the daughter with a cockroach drawn on her face and a dialogue bubble containing the words, “I’m ugly,” the Post reported.
Nagle was convicted of using the mail and Internet to stalk the actress. Erbe did not testify at the sentencing.
In the 1993 child molestation case, Nagle pleaded guilty to numerous charges including corrupting a minor, false imprisonment and indecent assault. The district attorney’s office dropped a more-serious attempted-rape charge in exchange for the plea.
While that case was pending, Nagle was arrested again within weeks for allegedly attempting to abduct another girl. He was accused of grabbing a 14-year-old on a street near Nagle’s home and telling her he wanted to have sex with her. The victim and her 12-year-old sister fought off Nagle.
A Municipal Court judge later found Nagle not guilty of several misdemeanor charges in that case. ••
Reporter William Kenny can be reached at 215-354-3031 or firstname.lastname@example.org