Pastor rejects plea deal, will go to trial for sex crimes against children

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Judge sets Jan. 20 for trial start against Harriger

ALBION – A pastor who used to lead a church in Lyndonville rejected a plea deal in Orleans County Court today that could have resulted in a sentence of up to 25 years in state prison.

Roy Harriger, 70, has been charged with three counts of incest, three counts of coarse sexual conduct and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said if Harriger pleaded guilty to three counts of coarse sexual conduct he would face the maximum of up to 25 years.

Harriger, standing with his attorney Larry Koss, declined the plea offer.

Orleans County Court Judge James Punch said no more plea offers will be considered. He set Jan. 20 for the start of the trial against Harriger, who could face 25 years in prison if convicted.

Harriger is the pastor of the Community Fellowship Church in the town of Hartland. He was charged in November with three counts of coarse sexual contact in the first degree and three counts of incest. The endangering the welfare of a child charges were added in June.

Punch has ordered Harriger to stay away from church and any other locations where there are children 18 or younger. Harriger remains free on $250,000 bail.

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.