Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office announce the September 20, 2019 arrest of James Roland "J.R." Harrison, age 38, of Leesville.
During the early morning hours of September 20th the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office was contacted by Officers with the Leesville Police Department regarding a disorderly juvenile male.
Leesville Police Department responded to the area by Fina Mini Serve where they met with Harrison.
Harrison indicated that a 16 year old male juvenile in his care had struck him and jumped out of the vehicle.
After further investigation it was learned that Harrison was staying at a local motel with an 18 year old male and the 16 year old juvenile male.
LPD Officers spoke with the 18 year old male who indicated that he suspected inappropriate sexual contact between Harrison and the 16 year old male. The witness indicated that Harrison refers to the 16 year old male as his son but there is no blood relation between the two,
LPD contacted VPSO Detectives at that time.
Detectives responded and conducted a secondary interview with the 18 year old male. The witness indicated that he had actually witnessed Harrison preforming lewd sexual acts in the presence of and on the person of the 16 year old male.
During this time Detectives also canvassed the area for the 16 year old male and a short time later he was located and transported to the VPSO Criminal Division for questioning.
During the course of an extensive interview the juvenile indicated that Harrison had in fact engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with him on several occasions. The juvenile also indicated that Harrison provided him with narcotics.
The juvenile then indicated that he and Harrison had a verbal altercation and at that time Harrison deployed a police taser at the juvenile. The juvenile indicated that he fled into a bathroom and the taser prongs entered into the door of the bathroom barely missing him.
Detectives learned that Harrison was employed by the Merryville Police Department as a Reserve Patrolman.
Detectives immediately contacted Chief Robert Thompson and Asst. Chief Josh Foster with the Merryville Police Department.
MPD responded to VPSO and were briefed on the investigation involving Harrison. MPD advised that Harrison had been hired as a Reserve Patrolman in July 2019.
Detectives prepared a search warrant for Harrison's vehicle and hotel room.
VPSO Detectives, VPSO Narcotic Task Force Agents, and LPD Officers executed the search warrant at the local hotel.
Harrison was taken into custody without incident.
VPSO Detectives conducted an extensive interview with Harrison. During the course of the interview Harrison admitted to the sexual contact and other allegations made against him by the juvenile male.
MPD Chief Thompson immediately terminated Harrison.
Upon review of police property in Harrison's possession MPD determined that a large amount of police gear had been removed by Harrison without the permission of his MPD Supervisors.
Harrison was arrested and charged with one count of Second Degree Rape (Forcible Rape), five counts of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile, one count of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile Involving CDS, one count of Simple Assault, and one count of Distribution of a Schedule II Narcotic. Bond was set at $250,000 by 30th JDC Judge Scott Westerchil.
Harrison remains in the VPSO jail, the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.
Sheriff Craft would like to thank all of the agencies involved in this investigation.