BREAKING NEWS – U.S. Magistrate Judge Alistair Newbern just ordered former Cumberland County Solid Waste Director Mike Harvel to remain in federal custody pending his trial in United States District Court.
The detention hearing spanned yesterday and today to determine if Harvel would get a bond or not.
The 59-year-old Harvel was indicted by a federal grand jury on nine counts. It accuses him of civil rights violations, including kidnapping and sexually assaulting women that he supervised while serving as solid waste director.
According to the indictment, the official duties of Harvel included supervising workers at the recycling center and at other satellite locations and county landfills where he supervised dozens of women who served their community service time or worked as paid employees.
The indictment alleges that between 2015-2018, Harvel sexually assaulted seven women under his supervision. Specific allegations include that he kidnapped and sexually assaulted two women and forcibly raped one of them on two separate occasions.
During one incident in July 2017, Harvel confined a woman in a locked room at a county facility, physically pushed her onto a table and sexually assaulted her. In another incident in November 2015, Harvel approached another woman in a dark office, physically pushed her onto a desk and raped her. In December 2015, Harvel drove this same woman to an isolated landfill and raped her again.
The indictment alleges several other incidents of sexual assault, including fondling the breasts and genitals of other women under his supervision and against their will.
If convicted, Harvel faces up to life in prison.
This case is being investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Beth Myers and Trial Attorney Michael Songer of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.