Bail reduced for ex-cop accused of resuming trysts with York-area teen
A former Baltimore County cop who served time for sexting photos of his penis to a York County teen — and who was thrown back in York County Prison last summer for allegedly continuing his sexual relationship with her despite his probation conditions — has succeeded in having his bail reduced.
Nicholas Bonsall, 41, appeared before District Judge Jennifer Clancy at 9 a.m. Monday, April 1, where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the new allegations.
He remains in York County Prison. His formal arraignment in York County Court is now scheduled for May 10.
Bonsall's defense attorney, Dean Reynosa, convinced Clancy to reduce Bonsall's bail from $100,000 to $50,000. But Clancy reminded the defendant that he must abide by bail conditions assuming he's released.
"(One) condition is, you have got to stay away from this (girl)," Clancy warned Bonsall. "I know there have been problems (with that) in the past."
In addition to being locked up on the new case, Bonsall also is being held in prison for allegedly violating probation conditions by being accused of continuing to see his sexting victim.
Even if he posts bail, he cannot be released until a York County judge determines whether Bonsall violated his probation conditions and, if so, how much extra prison time he should serve for the infraction.
Bonsall's probation-violation hearing has been rescheduled four times so far. That proceeding is now set for June 13 before Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder.
Reynosa declined comment Monday as he left Clancy's office.
The background: York County probation officers found the girl in Bonsall's former West York apartment and found her clothing strewn around the home, including in his bedroom, according to court documents. That was during an unannounced visit on Aug. 15, officials said.
The teen later told investigators that she and Bonsall continued their sexual relationship after he was released from prison.
Bonsall remains charged with the felonies of disseminating sexually explicit material to a minor/second offense, unlawful contact with a minor, sexual abuse of a minor and possession of child pornography as well as misdemeanor corruption of a minor, according to court records.
None of the charges is for Bonsall allegedly having sex with the teen, since the legal age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16. Rather, each charge is tied to Bonsall allegedly possessing explicit photos of the girl and encouraging her to send him those photos, according to court documents.
Bonsall has been in York County Prison since Aug. 16.
Promised marriage? "Bonsall promised (the teen) they would get married and have children," charging documents state. "(She) feels manipulated and used by Bonsall and is suffering emotional trauma from the incidents."
After his release from prison in April 2018, Bonsall — previously of Jackson Township — moved into an apartment in West York without his wife or kids.
After being found in Bonsall's apartment on Aug. 15, the teen told investigators that Bonsall contacted her after his release and they resumed their relationship, officials said. She was 17 by that time.
"They had numerous consensual sexual encounters and Bonsall told (her) to send him sexually explicit photos of herself," charging documents state.
Bonsall and the teen sent each other nude photos, including of their genitals, as well as sexually explicit texts, the documents allege.
Police said Bonsall had two cellphones — a phone with no internet access that was permissible under his probation conditions and a phone that could connect to the internet, which Bonsall wasn't allowed to have.
1st criminal case: Bonsall was living with his wife and children in Jackson Township when Northern York County Regional Police learned he was having sex with a local girl and had sexted her photos of his penis and a video of him masturbating.
At the time, he was a detective first class and had been with Baltimore County Police for 15 years. After the charges were filed, he was fired, that department has said.
He pleaded guilty Jan. 29, 2018, to the third-degree felony of disseminating sexually explicit materials and was sentenced to three to 23 months in York County Prison plus three years' probation.
During that hearing, he told the presiding judge he couldn't really remember what explicit photos he had texted to the girl but said they came from the internet.
He neglected to mention that some of the photos were of his own penis, which is made clear in court documents.
Bonsall's probation-violation petition notes the girl is an orphan and states Bonsall "took advantage of that emotional void and abused his position of authority" by targeting her for sex and "grooming" her, starting when she was 15.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.