Jack Harclerode

LEWISBURG — The mother of a young boy sexually abused by convicted child molester Jack Harclerode on Wednesday attended what she hopes is his final public appearance as he was sentenced in Union County court to up to 10 years in prison.

“I’ve always said if he’s going to be here, I’ll be here,” the Lancaster woman said.

Harclerode, of Lewisburg, is currently serving a nine-month to 30-month state prison sentence in Mercer for sexually assaulting the woman’s then 10-year-old son at a Columbia County campground in 2006.

He was sentenced on Wednesday to assaulting another young boy nearly two decades ago and possession of child pornography, all charges that came about in the wake of the Lancaster boy’s assault.

The woman, who’s name is being withheld to protect her son’s identity, said her son is now 14 and doing well.

She’s proud that his revelation helped unravel Harclerode’s criminal obsession with children.

“Will he serve his full sentence?” she asked Union County District Attorney D. Peter Johnson after the hearing.

Johnson said the 75-year-old retired Bucknell University professor will likely have to serve the full five-year to 10-year sentence, despite his advanced age.

“Age won’t be a factor in letting him out,” the prosecutor said. “The state parole board will be careful in terms of the community’s safety. At the age of 72 he was actively displaying predatory behavior against a 10-year-old boy. If he’s breathing and moving, he’ll be active.”

As police were investigating the 2006 Columbia County assault, they uncovered hundreds of images of child pornography in Harclerode’s Lewisburg home.

Media reports of the charges prompted several people to come forward alleging Harclerode had abused them over the past 30 years, including Norman Gundrum, a Milton man serving a life sentence for murder.

The statute of limitations had run out on all, except another Milton man who’s now 31, who was sexually abused repeatedly in Harclerode’s campus office between 1992 and 1995.

Before the man’s case came to court, Harclerode was convicted of 20 counts of child pornography possession and sentenced to 13-years to 27-years in prison.

The state Superior Court ruled last year that the sentence was in error and the court was set to impose a new sentence when a plea agreement was reached in both cases.

In March, the former professor pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and agreed to accept a 5-year to 10-year state prison term, followed by 10 years of probation.

The sentence was postponed for months while the state Superior Court ruled on the defense’s appeal of the child porn case, even though Johnson and defense attorney Peter Campana, of Williamsport, informed the higher court that it had an agreement.

Johnson said the Milton man Harclerode admitted assaulting in the early 1990s approved of the plea.

Harclerode, who was supported in court Wednesday by his daughter, Jill, answered President Judge Michael H. Sholley’s questions but said nothing else.

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