The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

February 18, 2011

Trooper caught with pants down

Valley man first state cop in Pa. arrested by child predator unit

— MILTON — A state police trooper accused of prancing naked to a Lady Gaga song on a webcam viewed by what he believed was a 13-year-old girl was arrested at work Wednesday.

Douglas Nick Sversko, 43, of 216 Lamplight Lane, Lewisburg, was suspended without pay from his $81,620 position at the Milton barracks soon after his arraignment in Harrisburg on two felony charges of unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility, state police spokesman Lt. Myra Taylor said.

Sversko is the first state trooper to be arrested by the Attorney General’s Office Child Predator Unit since it was created in 2005.

Of the 284 arrests made in the past six years, six others had been associated with law enforcement, including prison guards, a New Jersey police officer and Transportation Security Administration screener, state Attorney General spokesman Nils Frederiksen said.

No one responded at Sversko’s home phone Thursday afternoon.

In a criminal complaint filed by Jessica Eger, a special agent in the state Attorney General’s Office Child Predator Unit, Sversko used an Internet chat room last March 3 to converse with the undercover agent posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Sversko complimented the agent on her profile photo and acknowledged her age, then told her that he was nude.

“Naked is comfy. I am not afraid to tell you that I’m naked and attracted to you,” he wrote.

Sversko allegedly sent the agent a link to his computer webcam and transmitted a video of himself dancing naked in front of a computer.

Asked by the agent what he was dancing to, Sversko responded, “Lady Gaga, I think,” according to the complaint.

He then asked if she was aroused before ending the nearly hour chat by warning her to delete their conversation.

“We don’t really want mom to read about this. LOL,” he said.

Sversko was arrested at the barracks Wednesday and taken to Harrisburg, where he was arraigned on the two felony charges.

Each offense carries penalties of up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

He was released on $100,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday in Harrisburg.

Sversko has been a trooper since graduating from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in November 1993.

He was stationed in Selinsgrove until 2004, when he transferred to Coudersport. Later that year he moved to state police at Montoursville.

For the past year he’s been assigned to the Milton station.

Taylor would not comment on Sversko’s training or how the pending cases he’s involved with will be handled.

He will be prosecuted in Dauphin County by Christopher J. Jones, deputy attorney general of the state Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.

“It’s an added concern when it’s law enforcement, but they come from all walks of life,” Taylor said of the ministers, firefighters, grocery store clerks, lawyers, doctors and high school teachers that have been caught preying on children through the Internet.

A majority of the individuals arrested never had a prior brush with the law, Frederiksen said.

“Whatever it is that drives them to seek out children overrides the defense mechanism against putting their jobs and families at risk,” he said.

To date, Frederiksen said, the Child Predator Unit has secured a conviction in all the cases it has prosecuted.

— E-mail comments to mmoore@dailyitem.com

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