A registered sex offender from Northumberland County returned Wednesday to Schuylkill County Prison after a judge determined he had violated his probation.

James E. Bucher Sr., 66, of Mount Carmel, must spend 11 1/2 to 23 months in prison, plus an additional three years on probation, for violating the registration provisions of Megan's Law, President Judge William E. Baldwin ruled.

"This is why you have to register, so people are aware of the dangers of being around you," Baldwin told Bucher.

Mount Carmel police charged that on Sept. 3 Bucher drove a car that he had not registered under Megan's Law in the borough.

"We saw him smile and wave" as he drove by, a 12-year-old girl testified.

The girl identified Bucher as the driver of the teal Pontiac Sunfire.

"Was he driving the car?" Assistant District Attorney Thomas J. "Tim" Pellish asked the girl.

"Yes," she answered. "I had never seen him before, but people warned me about him."

Bucher and his wife each denied that he had been driving the car, although the defendant admitted he drove it a couple times a year.

Bucher originally pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 2009, to unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors, with prosecutors withdrawing two counts of indecent assault and one each of statutory sexual assault and luring a child into a motor vehicle.

Baldwin sentenced him on June 17, 2009, to serve 11 1/2 to 23 months in prison and an additional five years on probation, pay costs and $50 to the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account, and submit a DNA sample to law enforcement authorities.

Bucher faces a pending charge, arising from the same incident, in Northumberland County Court for failure to provide accurate registration information under Megan's Law.