CASE UPDATE: Former Pennsylvania National Guard officer sentenced to prison for soliciting sex from a minor

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today Monday a former Dauphin County National Guard officer was sentenced to 2-to-4 years in prison for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl. In reality, the girl was an undercover agent with the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

Joseph Witmer, 51, of South Crawford Road, Hummelstown, was charged last March with four felony counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility. Agents with the Child Predator Section arrested Witmer after he went to a predetermined meeting location to meet up with the minor – and instead met law enforcement agents.

Witmer was a chief warrant officer in the Pennsylvania National Guard in Fort Indiantown Gap at the time of his arrest. He no longer serves in the National Guard.

“We’ll prosecute anyone who abuses children to the fullest extent of the law – no matter who they are,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “We’re pleased with the court’s sentencing, and that predator is off the streets and going to jail.”

Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge William T. Tully ordered today’s sentence. In addition to the jail term, Judge Tully ordered Witmer to serve 10 years on probation. Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones prosecuted the case.

Suspected predators can be reported by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Submit a tip on child predators by texting “PAKIDS” followed by your tip to 847411.

“Our Child Predator Section works night and day to investigate these predators and get them off our streets,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Every child’s safety matters to us.”