Carbon man admits to child pornography charges
A Carbon County man admitted in the county court on Monday to possessing and sharing child pornography.
Michael Joseph Harman, 32, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to two counts of disseminating photographs/film of child sex acts. In exchange for the plea, the state Attorney General’s office agreed to drop counts of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility.
Harman was told by Judge Steven R. Serfass, who accepted the plea, that he faced a prison term at the time of sentencing based on state sentencing guidelines.
The plea agreement has a recommended state prison sentence of two to four years, however, Serfass cautioned Harman he was not a party to the agreement and did not have to go along with that sentence recommendation.
Harman was charged by the child predator section of the AG office for sexually exploiting children on the internet.
According to the AG allegations, Harman committed the sexual abuse of children crimes between May 7 and July 19, 2018.
The affidavit of probable cause states personnel from Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania State Police, executed a search warrant at Harman’s residence in July 19, 2018.
They identified Harman as the sole user of a Tumblr account that was referred to the AG office from the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children.
The affidavit said NCMEC received a cyber tip by Tumblr.com that indicated the posting of sexually explicit images of children.
The files were reviewed and it was confirmed they depicted children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual acts and/or posing in what is believed to be child pornography in violation of a section of the state’s crimes code relating to sexual abuse of children.
A subpoena was issued to identify Harman through his internet account.
When police searched his residence, Harman admitted using the Tumblr.com application for about the a year. He told officials he observed child pornography habitually, and also viewed adult pornography.
Harman admitted he would repost pictures of children on his own blog because, he said, he “did not have any friends and is anti-social,” the affidavit states.
Serfass deferred sentencing because the charges fall under the provisions of Megan’s Law. Harman will be evaluated by the state sexual offenders assessment board to determine if he is a sexual violent predator. If it’s determined he is, then he must register for life as a sexual offender. If not, the registration period is 25 years.
Harman has been an inmate in the county prison since his arrest unable to post bail.