Years of Abuse in Loudoun Results in Life Sentences
The child’s mother was previously convicted in the case where a man abused a girl in home where he lived.
A Loudoun County jury on Friday recommended two life sentences plus 75 years in prison for the man it convicted of rape, carnal knowledge, manufacturing child pornography and indecent liberties with a child by custodian. Jurors found Moses Ulysses Harris, 52, guilty of ten felony offenses in total.
Harris befriended a local family and eventually moved into their home, where he sexually abused a young child for five years beginning in the summer of 2007, according to the Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
“Citizens have a heightened fear of child predators due to their unpredictable behavior and the innocence of the victims they seek,” Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman said in a press release from his office. “All families should take reasonable steps to become aware of where these offenders live and work in their community.”
Harris persuaded the young girl to keep the abuse a secret, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Angela Vernail told the jury during the trial.
During the sentencing phase, jurors learned of Harris’ prior criminal history, including a felony conviction for indecent liberties with a child in 2002 and two misdemeanor convictions for failing to register as a sex offender in 2008.
The victim’s mother was previously convicted of felony child cruelty.
Circuit Court Judge Burke F. McCahill scheduled a final sentencing hearing for June 13, during which Virginia judges typically have the option of reducing, but not raising, the sentence; however, the life terms, as well as 45 years of the 75-year sentence, is a mandatory minimum sentence under Virginia law, and cannot be reduced.