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Four girls praised for reporting alleged gropes by bus driver

 By Tricia Pursell and Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
MIDDLEBURG — Snyder County's top prosecutor on Friday commended four young girls for informing state police that they had been fondled by a Midd-West School District bus driver.
"It's better to speak out than to let something go on indefinitely," District Attorney Mike Piecuch said two days after charges were filed against Harry Jacob Miller Jr., 53, of New Berlin.

While Piecuch declined to comment specifically on the case, he said: "I am concerned that any time an adult is entrusted with taking care of kids, they live up to that obligation."

The girls, ages 8 to 11, told Selinsgrove state police Trooper Rick Blair that Miller had touched and grabbed their buttocks and chests while they walked in the school bus over a five-year period.

Children may not realize that something is a concern as it's happening, Piecuch said, "which is one reason why they are vulnerable. And why child victims are often subjected later on to years of counseling. At the time, they don't know any better.

"Unfortunately, that's what makes them prime targets."

According to experts at the National Network for Child Care, 85 percent of sexual assaults on children are committed by someone the child knows and usually trusts — an immediate family member, a relative, a neighbor, a family friend, perhaps a person they see every day, someone perceived as nonthreatening.

Most offenders are male. They come from all age, income and educational groups. Their approach is usually not violent, although it often involves a subtle threat or a bribe.
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