Former Naval Academy Professor Charged With Raping 12-Year-Old Girl While Teaching At Annapolis

45650225-18145318Among the academics making the news this week is former Naval Academy professor Patrick Harrison, 66. It is not the type of publicity a professor craves. He is charged with raping a 12-year-old girl while teaching at the Academy. What is interesting about this case is that the alleged victim took 15 years to come forward with the claims.

These delayed allegations are not uncommon in the area of child molestation, as shown in the controversies around the Catholic Church. The question is whether there is contemporary statements that add to the allegations.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Harrison tried to contact the woman since she made the allegations and she has secured a protective order.

Harrison taught computer science at the Academy.

Presumably, if the girl had told her parents, charges would have been brought. The question is whether she has any contemporary record or disclosure. Otherwise, this could be a difficult case to prove unless Harrison made admissions in the recent efforts to reach the victim.
For the story, click here.

5 thoughts on “Former Naval Academy Professor Charged With Raping 12-Year-Old Girl While Teaching At Annapolis”

  1. well it seems the victim is his step daughter which would explain the 15 year wait .
    he coped the alford plea …and he is guilty.
    child abuser !

  2. At common law a victim of rape could not win a conviction of her attacker unless she proved utmost physical resistance to her assailant and a fresh complaint of the crime to authorities. This Fresh Complaint Rule,* as the latter requirement came to be known, is a vestige of sexism from our past, but I also agree that a delay in reporting is relevant to the case. The common law maxim that “rape is a charge easily made but very difficult for the defendant to disprove,” also bears some truth. These cases are incredibly hard on all concerned, and given the enormous risks to both sides result in sensational trials. i hope this case will not end up like that.

    An attempt to address the sexist attitude embodied in the now-defunct Fresh Complaint Rule is found in this jury instruction from New Jersey:

    In this case, you heard testimony that sometime after the alleged sexual offense, (name) complained to about what had taken place. More particularly, there was testimony that… (The court should specify for the jury the particular testimony to which the fresh complaint rule applies.2)
    The law recognizes that people might assume that anyone subjected to a sexual offense would complain within a reasonable time to someone whom (he/she) would ordinarily turn for sympathy, protection or advice. If there was no evidence that (name) made such a complaint, some might conclude that no sexual offense occurred.
    As a result, in cases involving an allegation of a sexual offense, the State is permitted to introduce evidence of the complaint.3 The only reason that the evidence is permitted is to negate the inference that (name) failed to confide in anyone about the sexual offense. In other words, the narrow purpose of the fresh-complaint rule is to allow the State to introduce such evidence to negate any inference that (name) failed to tell anyone about the sexual offense, and that, therefore, (his/her) later assertion could not be believed.4

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