Scout leader indicted on sex charges

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A man who worked with children as a Boy Scout leader and through a church youth group was indicted on charges that he molested three young boys.

Michael P. Harig, 41, is accused of using his position of authority to entice the boys into sexual encounters in places such as a hot tub, shower and camper.

A Summit County grand jury indicted Harig on five counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of sexual imposition. Harig could face 25 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

He remains free on a $10,000 bond and is expected to appear for arraignment Friday in Common Pleas Court. His lawyer, Tom Adgate, said Harig will plead innocent.

"He's saddened by this, but we will address the charges when the time comes, beginning Friday," Adgate said.

Harig has stopped his volunteer work with all children, Adgate said.

Prosecutors say that Harig met the children, ages 12, 13 and 14, through two Boy Scout troops of the Great Trail Council and through his work at Barberton First Church of the Nazarene.

Bill Canterbury, spokesman for Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, said two of the victims were acquainted with Harig through dealings with the Boy Scouts and the church. The third is a family acquaintance.

The allegations go as far back as two years ago. None occurred during events sponsored by the church or Boy Scouts, Canterbury said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)