HARRISBURG – Attorney General Tom Corbett announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit have recently arrested men from the Pittsburgh and Harrisburg areas who are accused of using the Internet to sexually proposition what they believed were young girls, including a central Pennsylvania man accused of traveling to have sex with a 13-year girl during the Easter holiday.
Corbett identified the defendants as William J. Bussard, 38, North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County and Donald D. Miller, 41, Dover, York County.
Corbett said that Bussard and Miller are both accused of using Internet chat rooms to sexually solicit undercover agents who were using the online profiles of 13-year old girls and sending nude photos to the “girls.” Additionally, Corbett said that Miller allegedly arranged to travel to Harrisburg on April 10, (Good Friday) in order to have sex with the “girl,” believing that she had no school that day because of the Easter holiday vacation.
“Predators will take advantage of any opportunity to use children for their own sexual satisfaction,” Corbett said. “Whether that means sending nude photos and webcam videos or using holidays and vacation days to arrange face-to-face meetings – they are looking for kids who are vulnerable and easy to reach.”
William J. Bussard
Corbett said that Bussard allegedly sent a nude photo of himself during his first online chat with an undercover agent who was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl. During their second chat, Bussard is accused of sending the “girl” a webcam video that showed him masturbating in front of his computer.
According to the criminal complaint, Bussard repeatedly approached the girl online – sending several additional nude photos and sexually explicit webcam videos.
Bussard was arrested by agents from the Child Predator Unit on April 8th and transported to Dauphin County, where criminal charges were filed.
Bussard is charged with five counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $10,000 fines.
Bussard was preliminarily arraigned before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Barbara W. Pianka and lodged in the Dauphin County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 22, 2009, before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Joseph S. Solomon.
Donald D. Miller
Corbett said that Miller allegedly identified himself as a former corrections officer and often used the screen name “ofc_miller.” During his first online chat with an undercover agent who was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl, he allegedly told her, “I’m looking for a young girl to have fun with.”
According to the criminal complaint, Miller quickly proposed meeting the girl for sex – asking how she planned to get out of her house, commenting, “Not a lot of parents let their young daughters go out alone these days.” He also cautioned her to keep the meeting plans secret, adding, “I could go to jail if we would get caught,” and, “I would be thought of as a child molester.”
Corbett said that Miller allegedly arranged to meet the girl on Friday, April 10th, believing that she had no school that day. He also allegedly sent the girl a photo of himself, wearing his uniform, along with a photo of an exposed penis.
Miller was arrested by agents from the Child Predator Unit, assisted by Swatara Township Police, when he arrived at a predetermined meeting location in the Harrisburg area.
At the time of his arrest, Corbett said that Miller was carrying a condom that he had allegedly purchased at a convenience store a short time before the meeting. Agents also located a 9 mm handgun in the door storage compartment of his car.
Agents from the Attorney General’s office, assisted by Northern York County Regional Police, executed a search warrant at Miller’s home, seizing a computer and data storage devices. Those items will be analyzed by the Attorney General’s Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.
Miller is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor (related to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse), a first-degree felony which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Additionally, Miller is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor (related to statutory sexual assault) and one count of unlawful contact with a minor (related to aggravated indecent assault), both second-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 fines.
Miller is also charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor (obscene or sexual performances) and one count of criminal use of a computer, both third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.
Miller was preliminarily arraigned on Friday, April 10th, before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Robert Jennings III and lodged in the Dauphin County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 20th, before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Michael J. Smith.
Child Predator Unit
Corbett said that since its creation in January 2005, the Child Predator Unit has arrested 205 men from across Pennsylvania and from as far away as Florida and Kentucky.
“So far this year the Child Predator Unit has made 24 arrests – a more than 50% increase compared to the same period last year,” Corbett said. “The number of predators we have been able to identify and arrest has been growing rapidly, and it is vital that parents and children understand this threat.”
Corbett added that online activity for children typically increases during summer vacation, triggering a matching increase in activity by online predators trying to communicate with kids.
“Online safety is something that should be regularly discussed by every family,” Corbett said, “because I guarantee that there are predators out there right now, looking for kids who are not prepared.”
Corbett encouraged parents to monitor how their children use the Internet, including:
-What Web sites they use.
-What social networking sites they may frequent (MySpace, Facebook, etc).
-The importance of not sharing personal information with strangers (names, ages, addresses, schools or other identifying information).
-Avoiding strangers who approach them online.
-Reporting any contact with individuals who engage in sexual discussions or attempt to send graphic photos or videos.
-Corbett said that suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit by using the “report a predator” link, located on the front page of the Attorney General’s Web site.
Individuals with information about potential Internet predators can also call the Attorney General’s Child Predator Hotline, at 1-800-385-1044. Additionally, Corbett said that safety tips and other information are available in the “Operation Safe Surf” and “Just for Kids” sections of the Attorney General’s Web site. Also, organizations interested in materials, speakers or presentations, may contact the Attorney General’s Education and Outreach Office at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at email@example.com.