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CMPD Officer and wife charged in sexual assaults make first court appearance

By Samantha Sabin and Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
ssabin@charlotteobserver.com cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/07/17/48/rpJIR.Em.138.jpeg|379
    - MECKLENBURG COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Reginald K. Harris, 52, a 26-year veteran of the department, was charged with three counts each of first-degree sex offense, taking indecent liberties with a minor and crimes against nature.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/07/17/48/1ko7YY.Em.138.jpeg|379
    - MECKLENBURG COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
    Dia Harris, wife of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Reginald K. Harris, was charged with three counts each of felony child abuse, taking indecent liberties with a minor, crime against nature and first-degree sex offense.

Despite tearful pleas from family members, a judge refused on Thursday to lower the bonds for Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Reginald Harris and his wife, Dia, who are both charged with sex crimes against a child.

Reginald Harris’ bond remained at $90,000. Dia Harris’ stayed at $120,000.

Reginald Harris, 52, a 26-year CMPD veteran, was charged Wednesday with three counts each of first-degree sex offense, taking indecent liberties with a minor and crimes against nature. Dia Harris, 40, was charged with three counts each of felony child abuse, taking indecent liberties with a minor, crimes against nature and first-degree sex offense.

The Harrises were in Mecklenburg jail during their first appearance. They appeared in the courtroom by video.

The alleged sexual assaults occurred from 1999 to 2002. The accuser, a relative of the Harrises, reported the claims in 2009, but later recanted her statement after family and church members intervened. She again came forward to police in July.

In court on Thursday, family members asked Mecklenburg Chief District Judge Regan Miller to lower or unsecure some of the Harrises’ bonds.

“Can I please request if we could get one of these bonds unsecured,” one daughter, who didn’t give her name to reporters, asked Miller. “Neither are a flight risk.”

Miller refused, saying he needs to know more about the situation surrounding the charges. The judge said he needed to tailor the conditions of their release and determine whether the Harrises should be required to stay away from their accuser.

Reginald Harris, sitting in a special isolation unit at the jail for his safety and wearing an orange jail uniform, held his head in his hands as Miller spoke. The Harrises said little to the judge.

A woman who identified herself as a daughter left the courtroom crying after both defendants were arraigned. Family members declined comment as they left the courtroom.

Both Harrises have a bond hearing scheduled for Aug. 18. Reginald Harris is on unpaid leave as the investigation continues.

Sabin: 704-358-6194; Twitter: @samsabin923
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