The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Friday, June 24, 2005

Former Wapakoneta Police Chief- And Child Pornography

It may be true that holding public officials to a higher standard than we do "normal" people is unfair. After all, they are just people too. Right? I mean, how many men have affairs without the whole Clinton situation happening? But under certain cases, we should hold them to a higher law. In some cases, they should have to pay above and beyond what the "normal" person would. Because, we hold them on a higher level of trust. We tell out kids that the police are "safe" people. If they get lost, find a police man, if they need help, call a police man. So it worries us, makes us second guess ourselves when we find that the bad guy is one of those we have been teaching our kids to trust. This is the case of David L. Harrison, the former Wapak police chief. The man at the very top of command of a people that we have come to entrust the safety of our children with when they are in danger. Never should they symbolize the very thing we as parents strive to keep our children from. Here is a man with great responsibility, and as scary as it is- he also has a great amount of child pornography. What is even more startling is that this man- whom many held in the highest of respect, was show leniency in sentencing. I don't know what was going on in the head of the visiting judge who handed down this sentence. My thoughts are the ABSOLUTLY nothing was going on in there which would explain the unacceptable tolerance the judge displayed in this matter. Did he not see the apparent danger in the case? This is not the stranger we instruct our child to avoid, this is one whom we have taught them to trust. Sometimes that badge comes with a higher need for moral decency. And a tougher punishment for those that willfully break the law. Although he was convicted after the termination of his position with the Police Department, we can not be assured of when this action on his part began. Or how far it went.

The Lima News
Ex-chief needs re-sentencing

Auglaize County Prosecutor Edwin Pierce is asking for a re-sentencing hearing for David L. Harrison because the former Wapakoneta police chief’s sentence for pornography charges did not comply with state law. Harrison received a one-year sentence and three years of optional probation following his June 2003 guilty plea to several charges involving pornography on his work and home computers. State law says people convicted of sex offenses are subject to five years probation upon release. However, since Harrison did his time at the Auglaize County Correctional Center instead of a state prison, state officials have no ability to place him on probation, The Lima News reported this week. Pierce has filed a motion for a re-sentencing hearing in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court. The court should grant this hearing. Harrison got off more than lightly. The material on his computers included child pornography. The Wapakoneta police chief from 1988 to 2002 pleaded guilty to pandering obscenity involving a minor, three counts of unauthorized use of a computer, pandering obscenity and obstructing official business related to having child and adult pornography on his computers at work and home. Visiting Judge Charles Steele, from Van Wert, gave Harrison a one-year sentence for pandering obscenity involving a minor, an 11-month sentence for the pandering obscenity charge, six-month sentences for each of the three counts of unauthorized use of his work computer and a 90-day sentence for a count of obstructing justice, a second-degree misdemeanor. The judge, however, lightened the sentences when he ordered Harrison serve them concurrently. It is disgraceful that a public official would receive such a lenient sentence for something as serious as child pornography in the first place. To allow Harrison now to avoid probation would be shameful. The average man on the street would face harsh consequences for such acts; Harrison’s public duty should not exempt him from the same. The Auglaize County court should fix the part of that it now can.

Source WLIO Television Lima OH
A former Wapakoneta police chief has been indicted on several charges including some relating to child pornography. An Auglaize County Grand Jury filed charges Friday against David L. Harrison on 23 counts - including 15 felony charges of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance - for accessing and reproducing pornographic images using his work computer. Attorney General Jim Petro says, ""The material found on the computer is absolutely disgusting and unquestionably inappropriate and that ""this type of behavior is unacceptable and unbelievable, especially from a person the community depended on to protect its children and uphold the law."" In 2003 - Harrison was sentenced to 44 months in jail for crimes relating to child pornography and unofficial use of a city computer. He served 6 months in prison and 6 months in the county jail before being released and placed on probation.


Anonymous said...

Chief Harrison was recently convicted on the new charges. See Lima News.

Anonymous said...

Harrison was using his home computer to conduct work business. The person who actually took the child porn pictures is already out and did less time than Harrison will. How fair is that? It is because of the incompetence of these small town people, with small town minds and small town judges that caused this to be so screwed up. They screwed up his sentence, so how can they re-try Harrison? Isn't this referred to as double jeopardy?