Army officer accused of exchanging sexually explicit messages with South Hanover Township girl

SOUTH HANOVER TOWNSHIP — An active duty officer in the U.S. Army is accused of exchanging a series of sexually explicit online messages with a 15-year-old girl, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Lt. Col. Jeffery Bavis, 42, allegedlyi exchanged nude photos and explicit pictures and videos with the girl while he was stationed in Germany, police say.

He continued to send the girl messages after her mother told him to stop, according to police.

Bavis is charged with several counts of child pornography, criminal use of a communications facility, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor, according to charging documents. He waived a preliminary hearing in the case, court documents say.

Police say the conversations began in 2015, after Bavis met the girl and her family at a war re-enactment. Bavis began exchanging messages with the girl on Facebook Messenger, according to police. The girl told her mother she and Bavis were having conversations about issues she was having at school, police say.

In February of 2016, the girl’s mother noticed her daughter’s phone was making notification alert noises while the girl was in the shower, according to the criminal complaint. The girl’s mother checked the phone and discovered Bavis had sent her daughter a photo of a man and woman having sex against a wall, the criminal complaint said.

The mother scrolled through previous conversations and discovered that Bavis and the girl were exchanging 15 to 20 messages a day, police say. Many of those messages were sexually explicit, and included numerous photos of people performing sex acts.

The girl and her mother deleted the messages, and the girl’s mother sent a message to Bavis telling him she was no longer comfortable and did not want to receive any more sexual messages from him, the criminal complaint says.

But, police say, Bavis continued to send explicit messages.

The girl later told police that Bavis sent her nude photos of himself and convinced her to send him pictures of herself in the nude. When police executed a search warrant to access Bavis’ Facebook account, they confirmed the girl’s claims.

According to police, there were hundreds of conversations between Bavis and the girl, many of which included nude photos and sexually explicit pictures.

 

 

 

Bavis is free on bail, according to court documents.