Skip to main content

As a follow-up to a story posted Wednesday, the jury has found Rev. James Richard Harris guilty of lewd and lascivious battery and five other charges involving minors.

A jury this afternoon convicted Rev. James Richard Harris of lewd and lascivious battery and other charges connected to allegations that he molested a 15-year-old under the guise of making him a football star, and videotaped him and others engaged in sexual acts.

Coward


as soon as Circuit Judge John Kastrenakes told him that he would have to go to jail until his Oct. 5, he pulled a handful of pills out of his pocket and tried to swallow them, reaching for a cup on water on the defense table. Court deputies quickly tackled him and ordered him to spit them out, and deputies cleared the courtroom.
James Richard Harris faces up to 80 years in prison and his sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 5th.  It is believed Harris molested hundreds of young boys, but, as is the case in many pedophile trials, getting victims to come forward to testify is difficult.  

Survivors of child sexual abuse often do not speak about the abuse they suffered as children, even as fully functioning adults.  We bury it - try not to think about it - some out of shame, embarassment, or repression.  

I hope that as more of these cases are successfully prosecuted more victims and survivors will find the strength to speak up, to tell their truth, knowing that they we will believe them.  That the courts and, more importantly, the court of public opinion now take seriously allegations of child sexual abuse and are holding the pedophiles accountable instead of blaming the victims.  For far too long, this has been our burden to bear - our shame, our blame, our fault.  But no more.  Slowly the realization is setting in that child sexual abuse is a very real problem in this society.  

It does not surprise me that the victims/survivors are the true heroes in all of this.  Speaking their truth, standing up and facing their abusers, something I was unable to do.    

It is only in silence and shadows that pedophiles can continue abusing children.  As evidenced by those brave young men in Pennsylvania and these brave victims in Florida, speaking up can stop pedophiles from abusing again.

Link to Story

Originally posted to TreeClimbers on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 07:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

    by Roxine on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 07:28:38 AM PDT

  •  What state is this happening in, because it ain't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies, 2thanks, Lujane

    news here.

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 07:46:42 AM PDT

  •  Take heart (8+ / 0-)

    Rape used to be a verboten topic, victims were responsible for their own abuse, and police and hospitals further humiliated and demeaned them.  In my lifetime, there have been massive changes in both attitude and practice regarding rape.

    •  I agree and I know this sounds bad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, G2geek, wilderness voice

      But I think part of that has to do with the show Law and Order SVU injecting the subject of sex crimes into the popular culture and very often taken the subject super seriously.

      I remember the episode where the character Olivia is under cover in a prison and is on the verge of being raped. That was hard to watch TV and incredibly powerful.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 09:06:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the followup and the link, Roxine. (5+ / 0-)

    Let's hope this conviction, following on Sandusky's, gives more survivors the confidence and courage to speak up and that we see more of these predators prosecuted.

    Inside of me are two dogs. One is mean and evil. The other is gentle and good. The two dogs fight all the time. Which dog wins? The one I feed the most.

    by bakeneko on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 08:54:55 AM PDT

  •  He'll like serve in a seg unit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roxine, Lujane

    Saw a Locked Up not that long ago about a prison system in Florida and how they treat prisoners like him who if in gen pop would likely be raped, tortured and killed.

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 09:07:57 AM PDT

    •  which is a fine line we progs have to walk: (4+ / 0-)

      As progressives, we are dead-set against torture in prison.

      Rape in prison is a form of torture in prison.

      So therefore:

      On one hand, we want child abusers to be locked up and the proverbial key thrown away.  

      But on the other hand, we want them treated humanely in prison for the rest of their miserable lives, and that includes the security that's necessary to prevent them being raped etc.

      Both of these points need to be emphasized when we talk about this stuff to people who aren't knowledgeable about it.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:43:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, hell if you watch documentaries on segs (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roxine, G2geek, Heart of the Rockies

        They are almost a form of torture themselves. Locked up for 23 hours a day and confined to an hour of yard time by themselves, they often go days with the only human contact being "Lunch" or "Dinner" said to them as the guard moves down the line.

        It breaks a mans soul, literally and figuratively but a question we have to ask, which is the more acceptable outcome?

        Fine line to walk indeed.

        --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

        by idbecrazyif on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:46:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Keeping pedophiles away from children is the most (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          idbecrazyif, G2geek, bakeneko

          important thing - research shows the level of recidivism is too high to trust them again.  And there really is no "cure" for pedophilia - it seems to be a compulsion they can't control.  

          And while that's sad, and perhaps it is a "sickness" - it is the children we must protect.  NOT the pedophiles.

          Children have no defenses.  They are innocent souls.  They deserve to be protected, to be allowed to grow up without being raped.

          "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

          by Roxine on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:50:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ohh I agree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roxine, G2geek, Heart of the Rockies
            research shows the level of recidivism is too high to trust them again.
            I think that right there justifies the intense level of punishment they receive, they just cannot and will not function in society and the damage they cause is just far to reaching and high since it does last a lifetime.

            Its not like we're discussing the punishments of petty thievery.

            --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

            by idbecrazyif on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 11:04:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "the intense level of punishment".... (3+ / 0-)

              ..... primarily needs to consist of being permanently locked up.  Life w/o parole (LWOP).

              Beyond that, there's no need for "more intense" punishment while they're locked up: as if prison in and of itself isn't bad enough?  They're sick and there's no cure, so treat them like patients in a psych hospital, but just don't ever let them out again.  

              If some day there is a reliable genetic medicine cure, we can revisit the whole situation.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 12:17:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The nature of their crime puts them at odds (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Heart of the Rockies

                with both prison general population and guards. Because of this almost every prison houses pedophiles and sex crimes perps in special units or quads.

                I was stating that because its in Florida he most likely will end up in a prison that practices whats called adseg or administrative segregation. In those units inmates are locked in their cells 23/7 with an hour of yard time often in a ten by ten metal cage.

                That is a pretty intense level of punishment, I was just providing a frame of reference thats all.

                --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

                by idbecrazyif on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 12:39:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  maybe this: (4+ / 0-)

          We have Supermax for extremely violent criminals, terrorists, and the like, who are high risks for violence and escape.  

          Maybe what we need is something equivalent to Supermax for child abusers:  one in each state or at least in each region, relatively small prisons that are high-security and designed specifically to a) provide humane conditions and b) prevent violence among prisoners (if they're all child abusers, they aren't going to prey on each other the way general population prisoners would prey on them).  

          Alternately, let's rip the lid off the entire festering cesspool of violence in prisons generally.  The gangs, the home-made weapons, all the rest of that.  If we're going to put people in prison, we are absolutely obligated to keep them safe for the duration of their sentences.   That goes for nonviolent property criminals (burglars etc.), white collar criminals, and violent criminals (robbers, murderers, child abusers).  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 12:06:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Its the for profit nature that is dimishing prison (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            They used to practice exactly what you speak of. They still do to some degree. Here in Indiana you get to stay at either the local, county or state depending on your offense.

            But when it comes to eliminating gangs and violence. That is something they've been trying to tackle for years. The sheer intensity, ingenuity, and will power some of those men have to create stuff makes MacGyver look like an amateur.

            Saw a special about an inmate turned state against the White Supremacy Gang and he showed how one can make a shank using a paper cup and the elastic from underwear.

            Mind boggling

            --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

            by idbecrazyif on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 12:45:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely agree - I would NEVER want anyone (4+ / 0-)

        to know what it feels like to be raped.  Not even my worst enemy - not even my abuser.  

        This is exacty what I'm fighting against - that NO ONE ever has to know what I know - fear what I fear, feel what I feel - no one should ever be violated, betrayed, hurt so deeply...

        "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

        by Roxine on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:48:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  so he tried to commit suicide-by-pills rather than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bakeneko

    .... go to prison.

    That's a pretty powerful indication that life w/o parole (LWOP) is a more punitive punishment for some people, than the death penalty: the guy tried to choose death instead by swallowing pills.  

    Now this might earn me some donuts, but:

    Too bad someone wasn't taking video of his suicide attempt.

    Think of the public service TV ad that could run on "adult" cable TV channels:

    Picture: mug shot of The Guy.  Announcer's voice:  "This is a convicted child molester."

    Video clip of him scarfing down the pills.  Announcer's voice:  "This is the convicted child molester trying to commit suicide by drug overdose, after learning he was going to prison for a long, long time."

    Fade to black, announcer's voice accompanying this wording on the screen:  "If you mess around with kids, you can put yourself in that picture.  Don't say you weren't warned."

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:57:07 AM PDT

    •  No worse than the "Scared Straight" program (0+ / 0-)

      many years ago. Still remember vividly watching the TV special they filmed of that.

      The US needs to adopt the line followed in several countries now (can't recall which at the moment, but it has been discussed in previous diaries) of setting up programs where individuals who believe they have an inappropriate interest in young people can seek treatment before they act on those urges.

      Until then, getting and keeping them away from children is the only logical solution I can see.

      Inside of me are two dogs. One is mean and evil. The other is gentle and good. The two dogs fight all the time. Which dog wins? The one I feed the most.

      by bakeneko on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 03:20:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think there's a good track (0+ / 0-)

        record for such programs.  There was one here in the US (near Santa Fe?) for priests and it failed completely.

        What I'd like to hear is how other countries treat sex abusers in prison.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site