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Pastor convicted of sexually abusing two children

The Rev. Roy D. Harriger Sr. was convicted Monday of sexually abusing two children between 2000 and 2002 while he was pastor of the Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

An Orleans County Court jury found Harriger guilty of two counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child – in this case, a girl and a boy.

But the jury acquitted him of a third count of sexual conduct involving another boy between 2008 and 2009.

Harriger, 71, who left Ashwood Wesleyan Church in 2009 and became pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Middleport, faces up to 25 years in prison on each count when Orleans County Judge James P. Punch sentences him April 6. The judge allowed him to remain free on $250,000 bail.

Harriger was indicted last year on the three charges of sexual conduct against a child, three counts of incest and three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

During the trial, the judge dismissed the endangerment charges because of the statute of limitations, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said he also dismissed the incest charges, finding that they might duplicate the charges of sexual conduct gainst a child.

But the judge did not dismiss the more serious sexual conduct charges, which involved an ongoing course of sexual conduct against the children.

Under New York law, the statue of limitations does not begin to apply on those charges until the victim turns 18.

The sexual conduct against the first victim, a girl, occurred between January 2000 and December 2002 when she was between 7 and 9 years old. The sexual conduct against the second victim, a boy, occurred from January 2001 to September 2002 when he was between 5 and 6.

Harriger was accused but acquitted of sexual conduct against the third child between January 2008 and December 2009 when the boy was between 8 and 9.

email: jstaas@buffnews.com