Second trial begins in Miller County child sex abuse case

A Miller County man whose trial ended in a mistrial last year because of a deadlocked jury is facing a second jury this week in Miller County.
Jared Allen Harper, 35, is┬ácharged with rape, second-degree sexual assault and sexual indecency with a child for alleged misconduct with the daughter of a woman with whom he has two young sons. Harper came into the girl’s life when she was very young and had two sons with the girl’s mother.
The girl, now 14, confided in an older brother who eventually told the girl’s mother. The mother did not call the police but she did tell a pastor who reported the allegations to law enforcement in 2015.
A new jury was chosen in late March to decide the case. In Harper’s first trial, the jury heard testimony that the girl’s mother urged the girl to recant the allegations because she feared losing Harper’s financial support. Harper’s defense maintained that the girl and her older brother made up the sexual abuse allegations because they did not get along well with Harper.
The trial is expected to end this week. Circuit Judge Brent Haltom is presiding. Harper is represented by Texarkana lawyer Jason Horton and Jeff Rosenzweig of Little Rock. Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Connie Mitchell and Kristian Robertson are prosecuting.

Second-degree sexual assault is punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000. Indecency is punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Rape is punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison.

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