Pastor ordered to avoid church due to presence of children

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Roy Harriger pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges


The pastor of the Community Fellowship Church in the town of Hartland was told to stay away from church and any other locations where there are children 18 or younger.

Orleans County Court Judge James Punch made that stipulation on Roy Harriger today. Harriger, pastor of the Community Fellowship Church, faces six counts of sex abuse charges. He was arraigned in county court this afternoon and pleaded not guilty.

He asked through his attorney, Larry Koss of Brockport, to be permitted to attend church. But Punch said Harriger needs to stay away from church and any homes with children. He also must not email and have any communications with children.

“There will be no exceptions,” Punch said at the arraignment.

Harriger was arraigned on three counts of coarse sexual contact in the first degree and three counts of incest. He was first arraigned in the Yates Town Court on Nov. 27 after being charged by the state police. He posted $250,000 bail. Punch kept the bail at $250,000.

He also ordered Harriger to surrender all of his guns after the request was made by District Attorney Joe Cardone. Harriger has already surrendered one gun but Cardone said he believes Harriger has others, and Cardone wants them turned over.

The alleged crimes by Harriger occurred against three family members between September 2000 and September 2001, when he was pastor of the Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

Harriger, 70, of Middleport was the pastor at Ashwood Wesleyan for 12 years before he was terminated by the church in 2009 after a falling out with denomination leaders. Harriger then started a new church, Community Fellowship Church in Johnson Creek, which is in Niagara County.

A state police investigation revealed the alleged crimes were perpetrated in New York, as well as the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania between 1974 and 2003. The alleged incidents in Michigan and Pennsylvania have been referred to their respective State Police agencies, New York State Police said.

Cardone is prosecuting the charges against Harriger in Orleans County. Cardone said he had no comment if charges will be pursued in the other states.

Harriger is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 24.