Dec. 21—Police and Schuylkill County District Attorney Michael A. O'Pake have asked the state attorney general's office to help investigate a county employee for possible crimes against a minor.
The investigation was launched after a Luzerne County resident who exposes online sex predators provided information to police.
Musa M. Harris, popularly known as "The Luzerne County Predator Catcher," poses as a minor in online chatrooms, engaging adults in conversations where they solicit illegal sexual activities.
Harris then arranges to meet his targets for sexual activities but instead confronts them, recording and publishing the conversation online.
He also provides the online chat logs to law enforcement.
Authorities have not verified any allegations against the employee in this case; however, police found Harris' information serious enough to ask the courts for a search warrant.
Contacted at his home Dec. 9, the employee said, "I can't say anything," and closed the door.
The Republican Herald is not identifying the employee because he has not been charged.
Police searched the man's home Nov. 29 and seized four computers and other devices, including e-books, thumb drives, hardware wallets and a digital camera. The equipment has been handed over to the AG's office for forensic analysis.
In the affidavit seeking the warrant, police explained what led to the search.
On Nov. 25 at approximately 7:30 p.m., the man was on the Grindr app and was conversing with Harris, believing he was a 15-year-old male named "Josh." They discussed having "Josh" visit the man's home. The discussion delved into sexual activities that the man said he would like to perform with "Josh." The man and "Josh" then exchanged pictures via the app, including the man's face and their private parts.
The conversations occurred via cellphone and/or computer from the man's residence, the affidavit says. During the conversation, the man provided "Josh" with his address and inquired how soon he'd arrive.
According to the affidavit, a short time later, Harris arrived at the man's home and found him waiting on the front porch. He followed the man into the residence. "Josh" then identified himself as Harris, and video-recorded the conversation.
The employee acknowledged that he believed Harris was in fact 15 years old and that he had discussed sexual activities planned with "Josh."
Harris provided police with uncensored copies of the conversations between himself and the man.
Within several hours, the man was admitted to a local hospital for non-life threatening issues, police said, and his home was secured and his keys turned over to police for safekeeping.
On Nov. 26, the man asked friends to pick up medical devices and medication from his home. As the case was under investigation, a police officer retrieved the devices.
Police said that as of Tuesday, there were no new developments involving the state's role in the investigation.
Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-628-6023