Man charged in abduction of 5-year-old girl - abc27 WHTM

Man charged in abduction of 5-year-old girl

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Harold Herr (submitted) Harold Herr (submitted)

Police have filed charges against a man who had been a 'person of interest' in the abduction of a 5-year-old girl taken from her yard in Lancaster County last week.

Harold Leroy Herr, 73, was arraigned Wednesday on 11 criminal counts, including felony charges of sexual assault, kidnapping, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and corruption of minors, according to court documents.

Authorities said Herr approached the girl Thursday afternoon as she played in her grandmother's yard in Lancaster Township.

According to District Attorney Craig Stedman, the child slipped from view when she went to the side of the house, and Herr was waiting there.

"He told her: 'You are pretty. I think I'm going to keep you,' " Stedman said, "at which point he grabbed her by the neck and forced her into the car."

According to charging documents, Herr ordered the child to remove her clothing and threatened to kill her if she refused.

"That someone would to threaten to kill a 5-year-old girl and then, not only not stop there but to proceed to sexually molest her in multiple ways, that is a monster," District Attorney Craig Stedman said.

Authorities said the girl was rescued about two hours later when two teenage boys spotted her inside the car and followed on their bicycles until Herr stopped and let her go.

"The boy gave us a good description of the car, the color and even the individual," Manheim Police Chief Neil Harkins said.

Herr, of Conestoga Township, has been in Lancaster County Prison since his arrest Friday on a Megan's Law violation. He was being held on $200,000 cash bail, but bail has now been denied because of the new charges.

Herr was registered as a sex offender due to a 1990 rape conviction. Authorities said he served the maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for abducting and raping another 5-year-old girl.

If convicted on all charges in the latest case, authorities said he faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison.

His preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 26.


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