Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Madison County Detective Sentenced for Sexually Exploiting Minors

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Bruce A. Harvey Admitted to Transporting Minors to Engage in Criminal Sex Acts

Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – – A former detective with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, who was most recently assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, was sentenced  yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville on multiple charges of sexually exploiting minors, United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.


Bruce Arlie Harvey, 42, of Reva, Va., was sentenced yesterday to 23 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release thereafter. In addition, Harvey will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. Harvey pleaded guilty on August 14, 2017 to three counts of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual acts, three counts of interstate travel with minors with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and one count of possession of child pornography.  The charges involved two separate minor victims and occurred in approximately 1998 or 1999 and between 2004-2007.   


“Bruce Harvey abused his positions of trust as a law enforcement officer and a karate instructor to sexually exploit two of his female karate students. I commend the teamwork of the FBI and the Virginia State Police for bringing this defendant to justice and for giving the victims justice and a chance to find closure,” United States Attorney Mountcastle said today. “We sincerely hope that today’s sentence will be a step toward healing, restoration, and renewal for the victims.”


“As I said before, Harvey was every parent's worst nightmare.  He used his positions of trust in the community - law enforcement officer, youth karate instructor - to access the children who became his victims.  Just despicable,” said Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “I hope Harvey's sentence sends a message to the victimizers of the innocent; we will find you and bring you to justice.  I want to thank the heroes at the Western District of Virginia's United States Attorney's Office who expertly prosecuted the case, and I want to especially thank the brave victims who came forward.”


According to the information presented during previous hearings, Harvey, while a law enforcement officer and a karate instructor at the Virginia Tong Leong School of Karate in Madison, victimized the two young karate students when they took private karate lessons from him and traveled with him to competitions and other events at various out-of-state locations.


At the time of his arrest on May 3, 2017, investigators recovered a Sony microcassette in a bedroom closet of Harvey’s home that contained a film clip dated February 14, 2007, showing one of the victims performing a sexual act with Harvey.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Nancy S. Healey and Department of Justice- Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section Trial Attorney Lauren S. Kupersmith prosecuted it.


This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated January 26, 2018