Three arrested in online sexual exploitation of children cases

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Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s office today announced the arrest of three Pennsylvania men following separate investigations into the online sexual exploitation of children.

The latest arrests were made in recent days by the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section in Huntingdon, Mifflin and Centre counties. The defendants are:
·         Robert Stephen Harpster, 21, 159 McMonigal Lane, Port Matilda, Centre County.
·         Jeffrey Alan Yocum, 38, 215 Main St., Mapleton Depot, Huntingdon County.
·         Matthew Ryan Furgison, 31, 12300 Ferguson Valley Road, Lewistown, Mifflin County.


Robert Harpster was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly attempted to arrange a sexual encounter with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. The person the suspect communicated with during this incident was actually an undercover agent with the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

According to the criminal complaint, Harpster posted an online advertisement and later exchanged electronic communications with the ‘girl’ requesting to meet for a sexual encounter.

Harpster was arrested at a pre-determined meeting location. He was charged with four counts of unlawful contact with a minor, two counts of criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one count each of criminal attempt to commit statutory sexual assault, criminal attempt to commit indecent assault and criminal use of a communication facility.

He is confined to the Centre County Prison after failing to post $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for July 27.

The case will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.


Jeffrey Yocum was arrested following an online investigation where agents sought to identify persons using a file sharing network to obtain child pornography.

During the investigation, a computer was identified sharing files containing sexually graphic images of children. The IP address linked to the computer led investigators to Yocum’s residence.

Agents with the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section and troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police executed a search warrant which resulted in the seizure of a computer and a USB drive. A preliminary review of the devices revealed several files indicative of child pornography.

Yocum is charged with 11 counts of possession of child pornography and one count each of distribution of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility.
He is confined to the Huntingdon County Prison after failing to post $50,000 bail. Yocum waived a preliminary hearing.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police for assisting with Yocum’s arrest.
The case will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.


Matthew Furgison was arrested Wednesday following an online investigation into the distribution of child pornography. Agents found media files depicting child pornography with an IP address associated with Furgison.

Agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section executed a search warrant at Furgison’s residence and located electronic storage devices. A preliminary review of the devices by forensic investigators uncovered numerous images of apparent child pornography.

Furgison is charged with 41 counts of possession of child pornography, 20 counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

He is confined to the Mifflin County Prison after failing to post $250,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 20.

Furgison will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

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