A grand jury has indicted a New York pastor on charges that he sexually molested three children a decade ago.
The Rev. Roy Harriger, 70, the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Hartland, was accused of molesting his son and daughter in December. According to those charges, the acts occurred between September 2000 and September 2001, when the children were between the ages of 7 and 9.
Harriger has now been indicted on charges of incest, first-degree sodomy and sexual conduct against three children, reported The Daily News.
According to authorities, the alleged crimes occurred while Harriger worked as pastor of Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.
Last week, WIVB reported that at least 15 people came forward to accuse the pastor of sexually abusing them. Authorities are unlikely to be able to prosecute Harriger for all the accusations because the statute of limitations might have already expired.
Police claim the pastor, who has three sons and two daughters, abused youth for over four decades, starting in the 1970s, and throughout three states. Prior to moving to New York, he lived in Pennsylvania and Michigan, reported The Buffalo News.
Harriger was jailed briefly in December, though he was bailed out by congregation members in a short enough time that he did not miss a week preaching. The popular leader left his former congregation in 2009, bringing roughly 60 members from his previous church with him to his new employer.
Even after being confronted with the knowledge that 15 people had accused her pastor of sexually abusing them, church member Donna Kidney said that the accusations were false.
"I know he did not do it. He's innocent. I know in my spirit, he's innocent," Kidney told WIVB.
The pastor's son, George, who said he was molested as a child, told News 4 that he commended the actions of those who had accused his father.
"I wish people would understand they need to come forward, because like me, it's 40 years later, and you know all these kids are now coming forward with even ones that have testified before...," he said.
Despite the response of his father's church, which has largely backed him, George encouraged others who had been abused to speak up for themselves.
"No matter how afraid you are people will stand behind you, and this case has proven that 100 percent," he said.
Harriger has no prior criminal record. The accusations against him were originally reported to police in September.
Calls to the Community Fellowship Church were not returned by press time.