Details guarded for girl's privacy
U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said Wednesday she may seek to conceal details that led to the arrest of Scott William Tyree in the disappearance of a Crafton Heights girl, who was later found alive in his home.
"Generally in cases of this type the victim's name is not publicized. In this case, because she has been identified, we have to be very careful to protect her privacy," Buchanan said.
Buchanan has stated previously that court documents — in which investigators spell out the reason for Tyree's arrest — would be unsealed. The documents contain details about how Tyree, 38, of Herndon, Va., was able to spirit Alicia Kozakiewicz,13, from her home to what prosecutors describe as his "torture dungeon."
Despite intense publicity surrounding the incident, friends at school said students have not been talking about it much.
Emily Paul, 13, an eighth-grader at Carlynton Junior-Senior High School, said she ate lunch every day with a group of girls that included
Kozakiewicz. Emily said the two have known each other since fifth grade at Crafton Elementary School.
Emily said police questioned her and some of her friends when they returned from Christmas break.
Several Carlynton students said the school sent home a letter warning them and their parents about the potential perils of surfing the Internet.
"A lot of teachers talked to us about it," said Carly White, 15, a freshman at Carlynton. "They told us we should watch who we talk to, not to give out information to people we don't know."
Kristen Bonner, 17, a senior at Carlynton, said most students only talked about what they heard on the news.
"They were telling a story about how she got on the Internet and met this guy," Bonner said.
Kozakiewicz's parents reported her missing and released her name and photograph after she disappeared New Year's Day. After the FBI rescued Kozakiewicz from Tyree's townhouse Jan. 4, officials conducted a news conference in Pittsburgh to announce she had been found alive.
The FBI stepped into the investigation early because agents suspected the girl's disappearance may have been connected with contacts she made over the Internet. Using the Internet and phone to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity is a form of wire fraud, a crime in which federal authorities can have jurisdiction.
Thomas Farrell, a Downtown criminal defense lawyer who is not involved in the Tyree case, said Buchanan may want to keep the affidavit sealed to protect details of the investigation, but he said he believes that would be an unusual scenario.
"There aren't any hard and fast rules dealing with when an affidavit is unsealed. It's conceivable they could keep it sealed, but it's pretty unusual," Farrell said. "However, they would have to unseal it at the time of trial. (Tyree) is entitled to use it to cross-examine witnesses."
Buchanan said her office is considering additional charges against Tyree, including kidnapping, but is waiting for evidence seized from his Herndon, Va., home to arrive here before proceeding with an indictment or lodging more charges.
"It depends on what we find. We are going to review the evidence, and once we're satisfied, we will proceed," Buchanan said.
She would not comment on any evidence in the case.
So far, Tyree has been charged with one count of transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
FBI agents and Herndon police say they found whips, floggers, restraints, pulleys, clamps, paddles and a small cage in Tyree's basement. Agents found Kozakiewicz bound to a bed in the home after acting on information from a tipster in Florida who frequented the same chat rooms as the victim and defendant.
FBI agents said Tyree admitted to picking up Kozakiewicz in Pittsburgh and taking her to his home to dominate her in a slave capacity for an indefinite period of time in his basement dungeon.
Buchanan would not comment on whether Tyree abducted Kozakiewicz.
"That relates to the circumstances of a pending case and I'm not able to discuss that," she said.
U.S. marshals likely will transport Tyree to Pittsburgh within two weeks, Buchanan said. The delay is standard and is based on the competing priorities of prisoners already in the system, Buchanan said.