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Former Dauphin County National Guard officer sentenced to prison for soliciting sex from minor

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HARRISBURG — A former Dauphin County National Guard officer will serve a 2- to 4-year prison term for soliciting sex from what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.

The girl was actually an undercover agent with the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section, according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

As a result, Joseph Witmer, 51, of 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 showed up at a predetermined meeting location to meet up with a minor.

Witmer was a chief warrant officer with the Pennsylvania National Guard, working at Fort Indiantown Gap, at the time of his arrest. He is no longer a member of the Guard, Shapiro’s office said.

In addition to his prison term, Witmer will serve 10 years of probation as part of a sentence issued by Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge William T. Tully.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones.

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

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