Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Former minister faces sex charges

Indictment: Two boys abused

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

LEBANON - The former minister of a Maineville church has been indicted by a Warren County grand jury on charges that he sexually abused at least two boys who were connected with his church.

C. Steve Harmon, 57, was indicted on two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of sexual imposition. The indictments were handed up Friday and released Monday.

"We're talking about three counts (involving) two different children," Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said.

The two counts of gross sexual imposition involve sexual contact with a person under 13, while the sexual imposition charge involves a person between 13 and 16, Hutzel said.

Harmon was minister of the Maineville Baptist Church for about 15 years until allegations of misconduct with several boys surfaced last month. Earlier, Harmon was charged with gross sexual imposition in connection with an incident involving a 12-year-old. He is being held in the Warren County Jail on $500,000 bond.

During an arraignment Oct. 5, it was revealed that Harmon was issued a passport earlier this year, and authorities think that he was planning a trip abroad to work as a missionary. Warren County Court Judge James Heath ordered that the passport be held by the Hamilton Township police.

The case unfolded Sept. 29 when the parents of the 12-year-old went to police to report that Harmon had sexual contact with the child.

The investigation is continuing.

Harmon is married and has one grown daughter. A former Maineville Village Council member, Harmon was dismissed from the church after the allegations surfaced.

E-mail deck@fuse.net

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