MADISON COUNTY, Va. (NEWSPLEX) — A Madison County Sheriff’s Office detective is facing charges relating to the sexual exploitation of minors.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, 40-year-old Bruce A. Harvey of Reva was arrested Wednesday morning.
He is facing two counts of transporting minors across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of interstate travel with minors with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
The release says the alleged criminal activity involved two minor female victims who had contact with Harvey while he worked as a karate instructor at the Virginia Tong Leong School of Karate in Madison sometime between 1998 and 2007.
According to an affidavit supporting the arrest, Harvey previously worked as a school resource officer at Madison County High School but was removed from that position in 2005 after parents complained he had inappropriate relationships with underage female students.
He was then assigned to the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, a federal, state and local task force that investigates child predators.
Former U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy that concerning.
“That to me is troubling that there wasn’t more aggressive screening before he was given that responsiblity,” said Heaphy.
Heaphy says the fact that so many years passed between the alleged offenses and the charges being filed suggests the victims may not have told anyone before now.
“It suggests that the offenses could have been consensual, but that doesn’t matter under the law,” he said. “An underage person can’t give valid consent to a sexual relationship with an adult.”
Harvey made an initial appearance in the U.S. District Court in Charlottesville on Wednesday afternoon and remains in custody.
The investigation is ongoing and being conducted by the FBI and the Virginia State Police.
Anyone with information about these crimes or information about a potential victim is asked to call the FBI at (800) 225-5324.