Kitsap Co. pastor pleads guilty to child rape

King 5 News, Washington/February 27, 2008

Port Orchard, Washington - A former Southworth pastor pleaded guilty Wednesday to raping and molesting young girls in his congregation.

At least ten people have come forward, accusing 60-year-old Robbin Leeroy Harper of sexually abusing females as young as ten years old. Most of the victims say the abuse started with Harper's church office and often led to molestation and rape.

In some of the cases, the victims reportedly claimed Harper told them he was preparing them for marriage.

Harper served as the pastor of The Church in South Colby, a small, nondenominational congregation. Current church members say he stepped down as pastor more than three years ago.

Harper was charged with eight counts of rape and molestation, to which he pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced April 9. Prosecutors are recommending 270 months in prison.

One of the victims has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Harper and his wife, who are in the process of a divorce.

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