Area Man Charged With Soliciting Minors Online

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A former school bus driver has been jailed after state investigators alleged that he tried to solicit a juvenile for sexual activity.

Todd M. Murray, 55, who investigators said has addresses in Port Vue and Elizabeth Twp., is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing April 10 before Magisterial District Judge Beth S. Mills in Forward Twp.

Murray was charged with dissemination of pornography to minors, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility.

The bus company for which Murray worked, Pennsylvania Coach Lines, has cooperated fully with investigators, said a spokesman for state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Murray worked part-time for the company driving students to sports events, the spokesman said, but his last assignment was in January and he is being terminated.

State investigators did not release which schools or school districts where Murray may have worked.

In a release, Shapiro said that in October 2018, Murray began having a conversation on the Internet with someone who he thought was a 14-year-old girl. The person was, in reality, a detective with the Newbury, Mass., police department.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, investigators allege that between October and December 2018, Murray's messages became sexual in nature and accused him of sending two obscene images to the detective.

Those images allegedly depicted a 16-year-old girl engaged in a sex act, Shapiro said.

“The defendant had exposure to children through his work as a bus driver and was entrusted to keep them safe,” Shapiro said. “Instead, he betrayed that trust and preyed on minors online.”

Shapiro's office thanked the Newbury, Mass., police for their work and cooperation with Pennsylvania investigators.

Originally published April 02, 2019.

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