BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon man was arrested Monday for allegedly sexually abusing a 15-year-old.
Robert E. Harper, 75, of Buckhannon, was arrested for six counts of sexual abuse by parent, guardian or custodian and six counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, both felonies. According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Trooper John Tonkin with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, two of the alleged incidents reportedly took place Thursday, Jan. 2 in the Buckhannon-Upshur High School parking lot and at a home in Buckhannon.
At both places, Harper allegedly forced a 15-year-old female to participate in an unwanted sexual act. On Jan. 2, Harper, who is a relative of the victim, had driven to B-UHS to pick up the victim’s younger brother.
Harper also allegedly forced the minor to engage in four other separate acts of unwanted sexual contact beginning in kindergarten, Tonkin wrote in the report.
Bail was set at $250,000 cash only.
If convicted on the sexual abuse by parent, guardian or custodian charges, Harper faces confinement in correctional facility not less than 10 years nor more than 20 years or a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 and imprisonment in a correctional facility not less than 10 years nor more than 20 years for each count.
If convicted on the first-degree sexual abuse charges, he also faces confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than five years or a fine of not more than $10,000 and imprisonment in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than five years for each count.