Thursday, 18 November 2021 11:53

Moore County sex offender convicted in Richmond County for failing to register

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ROCKINGHAM — A Richmond County man was convicted this week of failing to register as a sex offender and being a habitual felon.

District Attorney Reece Saunders announced the conviction Thursday in a press release.

According to Saunders, 57-year-old Howard Maurice Harris was found guilty by a jury Nov. 15 of failing to register as a sex offender.

“Harris was on the sex offender registry for two separate prior convictions of taking indecent liberties with children and is a repeat offender for having more than one conviction that requires registration,” according to the release.

Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show Harris has twice been convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child — the first time in 1991 and again in 2007. Both convictions were in Moore County.

According to the N.C. Sex Offender Registry, the second offense occured in 2004 when Harris was 39 and the victim was 13. There are no details related to the first conviction.

Records show Harris was incarcerated for 14 months on the first offense and 18 months for the second.

The Registry shows Harris’ address as being in Hampton, Virginia, and that his address was last verified in July of 2020.

Because of being a recidivist, Harris is to have a lifetime listing on the registry.

The case was investigated by Lt. Chris Monroe of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Moore County Sheriff's Office Sex Offender Registry Unit.

Saunders said Harris also “admitted his status” of being a habitual felon, having three prior felony convictions.

In addition to the two indecent liberties convictions, records show Harris was also convicted of second-degree burglary in 1997.

The recent case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Alex Harris and Michael Van Buren.

Judge Nathan Hunt Gwyn sentenced the defendant to a minimum of 77 months (six years, five months) and a maximum of 105 months (eight years, nine months) in the N.C. Department of Adult Corrections.

“Convicted sex offenders who do not comply with the registration requirements of the law will be prosecuted,” Saunders said.

Records show Harris was first convicted in 1981 of shoplifting in Moore County.

Other previous convictions include one count of driving while impaired in each Moore in Chatham counties in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

He was also convicted in 2003 on two counts of driving with a revoked license.


Last modified on Thursday, 18 November 2021 12:01