Child sex abuse case against Roan Mountain man set for trial

Published 3:41 pm Monday, January 15, 2018

A trial date is now set for a Roan Mountain man charged with rape of a child and incest.

David Arthur Harmon, 47, of Roan Mountain, appeared in Carter County Criminal Court on Friday for a status update in his case. Harmon stands charged with 13 counts of rape of a child and 13 counts of incest.

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During Friday’s court appearance, Judge Stacy Street set a motion hearing date in the case for June 4 and scheduled Harmon’s trial to begin on Sept. 11. The trial is expected to last two days.

The charges against Harmon stem from an investigation by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office which started on July 28, 2016, when deputies responded to a report of a disturbance at a home in Roan Mountain. Upon arrival, deputies met with a woman who reported that Harmon had sexually assaulted her child. Deputies spoke with Harmon at the scene and, according to court documents, Harmon told the officer he had “done something” to the child and “wanted to confess.” Harmon then agreed to go to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and speak with Chief Investigator Randy Bowers.

“During my interview with (Harmon), he admitted to sexually assaulting (the child) on a total of 13 separate times,” Bowers said, adding Harmon described what activity took place.

According to Bowers, Harmon said the sexual assaults took place during the past six months at his home in Roan Mountain and also at a location on Smalling Road in the Central community.

After interviewing Harmon, Bowers said he spoke with the child, and she confirmed the statements made by Harmon.

Harmon has remained incarcerated at the Carter County Detention Center since his arrest on July 28, 2016, and is being held under a $400,000 bond.

Harmon appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Aug. 1, 2016, where Judge Keith Bowers Jr. appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent the man. On Aug. 8, Bowers issued a court order directing Harmon to undergo a mental health evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial, any diminished capacity, and his mental condition at the time the alleged offenses took place.

In November 2016, Harmon waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case and the charges against him were bound over to the Carter County Grand Jury. On Jan. 4, 2017, the Grand Jury handed down the indictment charging Harmon with 13 counts of incest and 13 counts of rape of a child where the victim is more than 3 years of age but less than 13 years of age.