Former Youth Pastor Sentenced In Child Abuse Case

BERLIN — A Stockton man has been sentenced to 75 years in jail with all but 37 suspended for multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor as he served as a youth pastor at a local church in Pocomoke.

Rodney Harmon, Jr., 34, of Stockton last week was sentenced in Worcester County Circuit Court to a total of 75 years in the Maryland Department of Corrections after being convicted in February on three counts of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of displaying an obscene item to a minor. All but 37 years of the sentence were then suspended. Harmon, Jr. will also be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

The charges stem from a complaint of child sexual abuse received by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office in August 2018. The Worcester County Child Advocacy Center, or Cricket Center, and Child Protective Services began a joint investigation which revealed Harmon had sexually abused multiple children while serving as a youth pastor at a local church in Pocomoke.

harmon youth pastor mug

Rodney Harmon, Jr.

Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser commended the Sheriff’s Office, the Cricket Center, Life Crisis and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office detective for their tireless work on the investigation and thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Mike Farlow for prosecuting the difficult case.

“I am proud that the collaborative efforts of all agencies involved allowed the state to argue for and obtain a sentence above the Maryland sentencing guidelines as a result of these heinous offenses, which were committed against the most vulnerable in our community,” she said.

The mission of the Cricket Center is to create a community response in which abusers are held accountable and children and families experience hope and healing. The multidisciplinary team is made up of law enforcement officers, child protective service personnel, prosecutors, advocates, mental health therapists and medical personnel. To learn more, or to report suspected child abuse, please contact 410-641-0097.