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FBI agent appears in Gonzales courtroom on sex charges

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 10:22 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A veteran FBI Special Agent appeared in Ascension parish for a bond hearing in that parish Thursday morning.

District Judge Tess Stromberg ordered David Harris, 51, of Prairieville, held without bond.

A source familiar with the case said the allegations against Harris are extremely disturbing.

Prosecutors did not reveal specific allegations against Harris during the hearing, only saying that the allegations involve underage girls including one of the agent’s relatives.

Prosecutors said he threatened at least one of the young victims if she said anything.

It was revealed during the same hearing Thursday that Harris is also accused of “indecency with a child” in the Tyler, Texas area.

Harris, who was arrested last week, is accused of multiple sex crimes across several jurisdictions, including rape and offenses involving children.

Harris, who is assigned to the New Orleans FBI field office, was most recently appointed to head up a regional division of the FBI that investigates online crimes against children, including child pornography.

The investigation currently involves allegations from as far back as 2016, but could eventually stretch back much further to a time when the agent was in the United States military, sources said.

In Ascension Parish, the agent is charged with aggravated crimes against nature and indecent behavior with children under the age of 13, records show.

Authorities in both East Baton Rouge and Orleans parish say they plan to charge him with alleged crimes in those two parishes.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, he is set to be charged with aggravated crimes against nature, indecent behavior with juveniles, obscenity, and witness intimidation. In Orleans Parish, he faces charges of sexual battery and attempted third-degree rape.

The alleged victims include both adults and juveniles, authorities said.

An FBI spokesperson this week, citing department policy, said she could not confirm whether Harris is still employed by that agency. However, in a statement issued last week, she still referred to him as a current agent.

“The FBI is aware of the recent charges brought by the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Special Victims Unit and the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General against an FBI Special Agent, and we are fully cooperating on this matter, " said FBI Public Affairs Specialist Lori Grice.

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