Western PA Man Who Taped Himself Sexually Abusing Children Sentenced to Decades in Prison

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s office today announced a western Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to serve several decades in a state prison after he sexually abused three boys and videotaped some of the abuse with his cell phone.

Michael John Bickel, 25, was recently sentenced to a collective prison term of 59 to 118 years by Washington County Judge Gary Gilman.

Bickel also shared child pornography with a boy and committed various other crimes involving illegal contact with children. He was arrested in March 2015 following an investigation by the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

Bickel pleaded guilty in September to more than 200 criminal charges, including multiple counts of rape of a child and production of child pornography. The victims Bickel sexually assaulted were between the ages of 7 and 12 when he abused them.

“This was a heartbreaking case where the defendant recorded himself sexually abusing children for his own gratification,”  Kane said. “We are extremely pleased the court imposed a significant prison sentence that will keep this predator off the streets for the foreseeable future.”

The investigation of Bickel, 3241 Bradbury Drive, Aliquippa, Beaver County, began after a report was made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline. The report was generated after it was suspected that Bickel had distributed child pornography through the Internet.

Agents through further investigation confirmed Bickel was disseminating child pornography. In a subsequent interview with Bickel, he consented to a search of his cell phone. The search revealed multiple images and video files depicting child pornography, including videos that Bickel had produced of himself abusing his victims.

It was later determined that Bickel engaged in sexual contact with his victims for more than four years. The abuse started in the summer of 2010, according to investigators.

The Office of Attorney General has worked to identify all of Bickel’s victims and to ensure they have the professional help they need.

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