Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Fall Antique & Collectible Show

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Corbett Gets 2 More Internet Sex Creeps

Attorney General Corbett announces arrest of two Internet predators in Clearfield County; 177 total arrests by Child Predator Unit

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit have arrested two Clearfield County men who are both accused of using the Internet to sexually proposition what they believed were 13-year old girls, as well as sending sexually explicit webcam videos. The "girls" were actually undercover agents from the Child Predator Unit who were using the online profiles of children.

Corbett identified the defendants as Michael Shawn Whelpley, 38, 181 Mockingbird Lane, Brockway, and Randall Scott Luzier, 30, 314 Little Clearfield Creek Road, Olanta.

"Both of these men are accused of using Internet chat rooms to sexually proposition what they believed were young girls," Corbett said. "It is important for parents to understand how quickly online conversations between their children and strangers can progress to sexual conversations, the transmission of graphic photos or webcam videos and, in some cases, attempts to arrange face-to-face meetings for sex."

Corbett said that in addition to sexual conversations, Whelpley and Luzier are both accused of using computer webcams to transmit nude images of themselves to the undercover agents.

Michael Shawn Whelpley

Whelpley-CPU176-arrest-250x275.jpgCorbett said that Whelpley, using the screen name "messiah236," used an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent on September 20, 2008. At the time, the agent was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl.

According to the criminal complaint, Whelpley confirmed the girl's age and asked to exchange photos, commenting that he was, "old enough to be your dad."

Corbett said that as the online chat continued, Whelpley allegedly explained in graphic detail the sex acts he wished to perform with the girl. Whelpley is also accused of sending the girl a webcam video that showed him nude and masturbating in front of his computer.

Whelpley was arrested at his home on Wednesday, November 12th, by agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit, assisted by officers from the Sandy Township Police Department. Agents also executed a search warrant, seizing computer equipment that will be analyzed by the Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Whelpley is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor 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.

Whelpley was preliminarily arraigned before Dubois Magisterial District Judge Patrick N. Ford and lodged in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 21st, at 11:45 a.m., before Magisterial District Judge Ford.

Randall Scott Luzier

Luzier-CPU177-arrest.jpg Corbett said that Luzier, using the screen name "rndyluzier," allegedly used an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent in March 2008. At the time, the agent was using the online profile of a 13-year old girl.

According to the criminal complaint, Luzier requested photos of the girl, specifically asking for "any sexy ones." Luzier also allegedly questioned the girl about her sexual experience, asking her, "have u ever messed around like dirty things," and later explaining that he meant, "just sex with me."

Corbett said that during a series of online chats over the next several weeks Luzier allegedly asked the girl to send him additional photos, urging her to get a digital camera so that she could, "take a naughty pic and send it to me."

According to the criminal complaint, Luzier sent the girl a webcam video that showed him nude and masturbating in front of his computer. Luzier also allegedly asked the girl to get her own webcam so that she could send videos to him, telling her he wanted to see her "naked body" and later commenting, "if you luv me u would get one."

Luzier was arrested at his home on Wednesday, November 12th, by agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit, assisted by Pennsylvania State Police from the Clearfield Station. Agents also executed a search warrant at Luzier's home, seizing computer equipment that will be analyzed by the Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Luzier is charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, two counts of criminal attempted obscene and sexual performances and two counts of criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Luzier was preliminarily arraigned via video conference before Houtzdale Magisterial District Judge James L. Hawkins and lodged in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 19th, at 9:45 a.m., in Clearfield County Central Court.

Internet Dangers

Corbett said that since the creation of the Child Predator Unit in January 2005, agents have arrested 177 Internet predators from across Pennsylvania and several other states, including 66 arrests so far this year.

Corbett cautioned parents and children to be alert for adults who sexually proposition them, send explicit photos or videos or try to arrange face-to-face meetings. He encouraged parents to discuss Internet safety with their children, including the danger of meeting strangers who approach them online, and advised parents to ask their children to show them what they are doing online.

Corbett noted 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 website, at www.attorneygeneral.gov, or by calling the Child Predator Hotline, at 1-800-385-1044.

Internet safety tips and other information are available in the "Operation Safe Surf" and "Just for Kids" sections of the Attorney General's website. Organizations interested in materials, speakers or presentations, contact the Attorney General's Education and Outreach Office at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at education@attorneygeneral.gov

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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