Pastor accused of sexually abusing children facing new charges

HARTLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – A pastor from Orleans County already facing charges of sexually abusing children is now facing additional counts.

A grand jury handed down a superseding indictment Monday charging Rev. Roy Harriger with three counts of incest, three counts of coercive criminal sexual conduct against a child and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The endangering the welfare of a child charges are new.

At least 15 people in three states have signed affidavits claiming 70-year-old Harriger molested them as children. But many of those cases are past the statute of limitations.

However, a grand jury has found enough evidence to indict Harriger on charges relating to three children. News 4 has learned that Harriger is accused of molesting a boy and a girl about 12 years ago when he was pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

The case first came to light last Thanksgiving, when Harriger was arrested by State Police. His own son, George Harriger, told News 4 he was molested as a boy but never realized there were others.

“It was just one of those things that everybody thought they were the only one,” George said. “It surprises me and it don’t surprise me. I mean, I didn’t think it was going to be this big but… The people are coming forward. I wish people would understand they need to come forward because like me, it’s 40 years later and you know all these kids and everything that they’re now coming forward with even ones that have testified before have come out with even more.”

Harriger remains free on $250,000 bail. A judge has told the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in the Town of Hartland that he is not allowed to attend church, as it would allow him to interact with children.

Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone said, “The judge indicated that he was not going to change his position, that he not be in the presence of children less than 18 years of age, and so that is a condition if there are children at his church who are younger than 18, he’s not going to be allowed there.”

Harriger is currently under a court order to stay away from children under the age of 18.

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