A federal detention hearing lasted for 4 hours yesterday and will resume at 2 p.m. today (July 22, 2021) for former Cumberland County Solid Waste Director Mike Harvel.
The purpose of the hearing is to determine if the 59-year-old Harvel will remain in custody until his upcoming trial. Future court dates will be set after this proceeding concludes.
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.
To see the full federal indictments against Harvel, click on the link below. READER ADVISORY – this indictment gets into graphic details of the alleged offenses.