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Chesterfield man featured on ‘To Catch a Predator’ busted again

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 03, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-03 17:39:26-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A Chesterfield County father accused of preying on children in online chatrooms was arrested earlier this week.

Harold Higley, who was featured in 2005 episode of Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator," is now facing four felony charges.

Bedford County authorities said Higley he was never charged in connection to the TV show incident, but investigators claim he was again visiting online chatrooms, looking for children to engage in sexually explicit conversations and to solicit pictures.

Investigators from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task force arrested the 40-year-old father of five inside his home Winding Creek Lane.

Higley was charged Wednesday with four counts of using a communications device to facilitate certain offenses involving children.

Additionally, Bedford police, the lead agency that launched an investigation in November of 2011, believes Higley may have multiple victims.

Higley’s bond was denied and he is being held by the Bedford County Sheriff's Department.

The accusations have left Wally Sprouse, one of Higley’s neighbors, shaken.

"We just went over to his house on Saturday for a birthday party," said Sprouse. "I've known this fella for six years. I chat with him occasionally [and] had no clue whatsoever."

Eric Hunter, another neighbor, said Higley is innocent until proven guilty, but that he's troubled by the accusations.

Hunter said he read an online version of the charges earlier Friday and wants Higley's wife to know they won't turn their back on her and his five children.

"We live in a great neighborhood and community,” said Hunter. “It's time to shift our focus on the kids. Let the lawyers and prosecutors hash it out, but we'll take care of them."