Local Pastor Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges

LOCKPORT, NY-- New York State Police arrested a a 70-year-old pastor in Niagara County on eight felony sex crime charges, which police say involved victims from Orleans County from 2000 to 2001.

They made the announcement Wednesday at a press conference at the Lockport barracks.

Rev. Roy Harriger, Sr., 70, is accused of two counts of "course of sexual conduct," two counts of incest and four counts of sodomy. Police said authorities are prosecuting Harriger based on alleged crimes against one male and one female victim, who would have been between seven and nine years old at the time. Lt. Kurt Schmitt confirmed that the incest charges suggest the victims were family members of Harriger's, but he would not release other details in order to protect their identities.

Schmitt said police have reason to believe Harriger has committed countless other sex crimes dating back to the 1970s, although the statute of limitations has prevented them from pursuing all of those. Schmitt also said some of the crimes allegedly occurred in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Schmitt said a victim came forward within the past few months, leading investigators to about 10 other victims.

"They realize they're not alone," Schmitt said, "and others came forward to tell their story."

According to Schmitt, the crimes for which authorities are prosecuting Harriger would have occurred when he served as a pastor in Lyondonville. He had since moved to become the pastor of the Community Fellowship Church in Middleport, a small village in Niagara County.

2 On Your Side spoke with dozens of residents in Middleport, all of whom declined on-camera interviews out of respect for Harriger's family.

Harriger is married with five children.


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