Edward Harper Stands Trial for 16-Year Sexual Assault Charges - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Edward Harper Stands Trial for 16-Year Sexual Assault Charges


He was on the FBI's most wanted list. Now, after 16 years on the run, Edward Eugene Harper faced the mothers of his alleged sexual assault victims in court Monday.

Tearful testimony from the girls’ mothers. Court rules did not allow us to record their testimony because they're family of sexual assault victim's but it was the first time they saw Harper in 16 years.

He looked nothing like his mug shot and represented himself in some pre-trial motions.

A clean shaven Edward Eugene Harper wore an eye patch in a Hernando courtroom Monday.

The 65-year old was almost unrecognizable from 1 year ago when he was arrested by the FBI in Wyoming.

Harper and his wife are charged with sexual battery and fondling of a 3-year old and 8-year girl at the High Point area of Desoto County in 1994.

Harper's wife, Deborah, was 18 at the time. Prosecutors told jurors he forced her to perform oral sex on the girls.

"Deborah told Summer to tell her mom what happened. She told Ed the same. Ed became violent and said we need to get out of here," said prosecutor, John Champion.

Harper was on the run for 16 years. In 2008, Harper was put on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List, along side Osama Bin Laden.

Harper's wife served less than a year in jail and is testifying against him.
The defense says prosecutors gave her a deal for her testimony. They told jurors, shortly before the sex abuse allegations, Harper accused the 3-year old's mother of stealing tools from him.

"Some children tell the truth and some children can't tell the truth," said defense attorney, Jack Jones.

The 3 year old's mother testified that she knew nothing about Harper accusing her of stealing tools. If convicted Harper faces more than 200 years behind bars.

The trial is expected to be done by Wednesday.

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