Pastor due to be sentenced for molestation

A South Kitsap pastor who admitted last month that he raped and molested at least four girls who attended the church he ran on his property in South Colby will be sentenced this morning in Kitsap County Superior Court.

In March, Robbin Leeroy Harper, 60, a longtime pastor with The Church in South Colby, pleaded guilty to eight counts that include first-degree child rape, first-degree child molestation, and fourth-degree assault.

He is scheduled to be sentenced today at 9 a.m. where he faces 279 months — or just over 23 years — to life in prison.

In his signed affidavit to the court, Harper admits to having sexual contact that ranged from intercourse to “sexually-motivated hugs” with four victims. At least twice that many victims reported similar contact, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department and the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office.

The first victim to come forward, who is now in her 20s, disclosed that Harper began molesting her when she was 12 and he was her pastor at the church, according to the probable cause statement filed by the Sheriff’s Office. She said that the abuse, which continued until she reached 18, began as touching and quickly escalated to sex.

She said she also noticed that Harper seemed to pay special attention to the young females in the church, and provided investigators with the names of other young girls that may also have been victimized by him.

The next alleged victim that investigators talked to, a woman also now in her 20s, described a similar pattern of abuse.

She said Harper began relations with her from the time she was 12 until she turned 17 or 18, telling her he was preparing her for marriage and that he “loved only her.”

A third victim of similar age said Harper began molesting her when she was 13. She said she was frightened when he began touching her, and he “tried to console her by telling her (they were doing) the work of God,” according to the interviewer’s report.

Harper was arrested last October, and has been in Kitsap County Jail awaiting sentencing since pleading guilty a month ago.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates