Crime

UPDATE: More details released in case of Jackson County, WV ex-pastor allegedly soliciting minor

JACKSON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - UPDATE 06.04.18

Douglass Harper, 39, of Gandeeville, West Virginia has been charged with soliciting a minor by use of an electronic device. 

Harper was arraigned in Jackson County Magistrate Court Monday morning.

According to court documents, on Thursday, April 19, a person walked into the Ripley detachment of the West Virginia State Police to make a complaint involving Harper and a 15-year-old, male victim.

On Thursday, May 10, those documents state that a trooper was able to locate the victim's parents.  The trooper told the victim's parents on this date that the case was being presented to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for review.

That trooper gave the victim's parents a thumb drive to download text messages that were sent to the alleged victim by Harper. In total, there were 31 pages of texts, the criminal complaint reads.

Also on the same date, the trooper gained a digital audio statement from the victim, concerning the text messages that took place between the two from April 12, 2018, to April 17, 2018.

The victim told investigators after attending a church field trip to Tennessee in March of this year, he got into an argument with another male, his age, over [a teenage relative] of Harper's.  The victim stated that at some point, the accused was made aware of the situation and "resolved the problem." 

The victim, according to court documents, told investigators that when he returned home from the trip, Harper began to text him.  He told troopers that at first, the texts were okay because his mother knew about the situation.  The victim believed that the text conversation was strictly pertaining to the argument.

"The victim stated that at some point during the text messages, he became uncomfortable due to the accused requesting a personal photograph of him in boxer underwear.  The accused also requested the victim to take photographs of himself before he took a shower."

The victim stated that at that point, he made his parents aware of the situation.

Harper was removed as pastor of Living Water Church when church members were made aware of the investigation in late April. 

Harper posted a $150,000 property bond.  He is on home confinement, residing at a residence in Roane County with a GPS location monitor until his preliminary hearing.

_____

UPDATE 06.04.18:

State Police say Douglas Harper turned himself in Monday around 10 a.m. at the Ripley State Police Detachment, he is waiting to be arraigned. 


ORIGINAL:

The West Virginia State Police are looking for Douglas Edward Harper, 39 for soliciting a minor by use of an electronic device. Harper is a Pastor at the Living Water Church.

Harper allegedly sent texts of a sexual nature to a 15-year-old male.

A felony arrest warrant has been issued for Harper due to his whereabouts being unknown, he is wanted for solicitation of a minor by use of an electronic device.

Justin Cox was arrested at the Ripley State Police Detachment for providing false information in this case.

The investigation is ongoing.


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