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March 30, 2006

Preliminary hearing waived in UPJ staff Internet sex case

A preliminary hearing has been waived for two Pitt-Johnstown employees arrested March 14 in an Internet sex case.

Instead of the March 21 hearing before District Court Judge Max Pavlovich in Cambria County, a May 16 arraignment is scheduled, said attorney Robert Gleason, counsel for William A. Gillin.

“We’re in the process of evaluating the case to decide which course of action we’re going to utilize in the future. We intend to file appropriate discovery motions to attain additional information to assist us in evaluating the situation.” Gleason said he may ask that the case be continued due to the extensive discovery necessary, estimating that it could be late summer before the case is scheduled.

Gillin, UPJ manager of alumni relations, and Jeffrey Haire, a part-time police officer at the UPJ campus, both have been suspended from their Pitt positions pending resolution of the case.

Gillin, 53, faces two charges each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors. He has worked for more than three decades on the UPJ campus.

Haire, 40, was charged with two counts of corruption of minors. Haire, now also suspended from his full-time job as a security guard at Johnstown’s Memorial Medical Center, has been employed part-time at UPJ since 2000.

If convicted, Gillin could face a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the two felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and the companion unlawful contact charges.

The misdemeanor corruption of minors charges, which both Gillin and Haire face, carry a maximum penalty of five years for each count.

The two were among five men arrested following an investigation into reports that a teenage boy from Richland Township, Cambria County was involved in sexual relationships that developed in Internet chat room conversations with men.

According to the state police criminal complaints against Gillin and Haire, archived chat room conversations gleaned from the computer of the alleged victim, now 17, revealed 22 screen names of people who had chatted with the teen about sexual encounters. A court order to identify the users of those screen names was issued.

Cambria County District Attorney Patrick Kiniry said the number of adults charged is expected to grow.

During the March 14 arrests, state police seized a number of computers, including Gillin’s UPJ computer, and are analyzing them in an attempt to locate people who use computer chat rooms to arrange sexual encounters with children.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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