Potter County native U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Frank Sullivan has been charged in Cumberland County with more than a dozen counts of possession of child pornography after a search of his Mechanicsburg home allegedly turned up computers replete with thousands of searches for “preteen” images, as well as pictures of children “engaged in very graphic sexual acts.”
Sullivan, 67, formerly of Galeton and the former executive director of the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission, is a decorated veteran with tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was arrested Wednesday by agents with state Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office.
Sullivan was charged with 15 second-degree felony counts of sexual abuse of children and one count of criminal use of a communication facility after investigators found images of child porn on a home desktop and laptop.
“General Sullivan’s alleged actions disgrace his work and besmirch the Pennsylvania National Guard, an organization that has bravely and dutifully come to the aid of Pennsylvanians whenever they have been called,” Shapiro said. “I’ve said it time and time again — nobody is above the law. My office will investigate and prosecute anyone who harms Pennsylvanians, no matter what positions of power they may hold.”
Shapiro said agents from his office discovered Sullivan’s penchant for viewing images of preteen children during an investigation on a file-sharing network. In October, a search of Sullivan’s Mechanicsburg home revealed a desktop and a laptop that were filled with searches and images of preteen children. In addition to finding child pornography on the laptop, a computer forensic analysis identified 37 search terms commonly used by people looking for child pornography, the state alleges.
Related to the charges against Sullivan, Shapiro’s child predator unit arrested one of the accused’s tenants in October, Bobby Glenn Williams Jr., and charged him with 14 felony counts of disseminating photos of child sex acts, 11 felony counts of child pornography and one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility. Williams was renting a room in Sullivan’s Mechanicsburg home, Shapiro said.
Sullivan was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Kathryn Silcox and released on $100,000 unsecured bail. He has already waived a preliminary hearing in the case. He is represented by Camp Hill attorney Patrick Lauer.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones will prosecute the case.
Sullivan is a 1970 graduate of Galeton Area High School and graduated from Catholic University of Washington, D.C. in 1975. He later earned master’s degrees from Catholic as well as Auburn University. He served as Potter County planning director briefly before beginning his military career, joining the Pennsylvania Air National Guard upon his commissioning from the Academy of Military Science in 1982.
He still has relatives in Potter County.