Harker Heights: Ex-teacher accused of indecency with a child indicted

U.S. marshals arrested James Lee Harper on a warrant charging indecency with a child/sexual contact. (Jail photo)
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HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) An ex-Harker Heights High School teacher arrested on Dec. 5, 2019 after, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, he twice touched a girl’s crotch, said he wished he could kiss her, and held her tightly in his bed has been indicted.

James Lee Harper, 37, was named in an indictment Wednesday charging indecency with a child stemming from an investigation that started after the unnamed girl, who’s younger than 17, told an adult that “Harper had touched her over her bathing suit on her crotch while at the Belton Lake in Bell County Texas, on or about August 2nd 2019 while (the girl) was spending time with another child,” the affidavit says.

The girl said the same thing happened again after they returned to a residence in Copperas Cove, the affidavit says.

She later told a forensic interviewer at the Child Advocacy Center of Central Texas “that later that night, Harper made her uncomfortable by speaking about (her) ‘sexuality,’ stating ‘I wish I could kiss you’ and asking (the girl) into his bed, where he held her tightly, and then (requested) that (she) rub his neck.”

The Killeen ISD initially suspended Harper during the child indecency investigation and then fired him.

“The charges against the educator do not involve a KISD student nor did any alleged criminal act occur on a KISD campus,” the district said at the time

“Upon learning of the allegations, the educator was immediately put on leave and the district began an investigation of our own,” the district said.

“The educator was a teacher at Harker Heights High School, but he was not a coach or involved with athletics for the district.”