Main | Monday, August 13, 2012

FLORIDA: Preacher Attempts Suicide After Guilty Verdict For Sex With 15 Year-Old

Moments after the Florida jury convicted him of multiple felony counts for having sex with a 15 year-old boy, Rev. James Harris choked down a handful of pills in the courtroom.
Courtroom deputies immediately grabbed Harris, repeatedly yelling at him to spit out the pills as they wrestled with him in the West Palm Beach courthouse. Once they subdued Harris, deputies called West Palm Beach Fire Rescue and bagged the extra pills so they could be identified. Harris, 64, was on trial for six felony sex crimes stemming from his encounters with a 15-year-old boy in 2008 and 2009. He lured the victim, an athlete, with claims of professional contacts such as trainers who could help the boy achieve his dreams of playing in the NFL. The victim testified that Harris performed sex acts on him on two occasions, even videotaping him at times. Prosecutors Chrichet Mixon and Michael Kugler played both videos during the trial. One video showed the boy masturbating under Harris' direction as a porn movie plays in the background. The other video showed the boy having sex with his girlfriend, 14, who did not intially realize Harris was videotaping them. She left after she heard Harris commenting as the two had sex.
Harris had specialized in "Christian outreach" to local high school athletes. He had a previous conviction for attacking a woman with a baseball bat.

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