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Jack Harclerode stands in the elevator with Chief Deputy Scott Hahn in the Union County Courthouse in Lewisburg on Wednesday.

LEWISBURG — Calling Jack E. Harclerode a danger to the public who will likely continue to prey on children, Union County Judge Louise O. Knight sentenced him Wednesday to serve at least 13 years and nine months in state prison for possessing child pornography.

“The need for protection of the public is great,” the judge said as she delivered the sentence of 13 years, nine months to 27½ years for 20 counts of child pornography possession.

A retired Bucknell University professor, Harclerode, of 1225 Supplee Mill Road, was convicted in a December bench trial of possessing 245 sexually explicit images of boys as young as 4 or 5 that he had downloaded on his computer.

Knight said the crime of child porn possession “creates a market for the exploitation of children.

“The children I saw in those pictures were clearly kidnapped or abducted and certainly held hostage,” she added. “I don’t think there’s any chance you can be rehabilitated.”

Shackled and wearing an orange jail uniform, Harlerode said little during the hour-long hearing.

The 73-year-old is already serving a nine-month to 30-month state prison sentence for indecent sexual assault of a 10-year-old Lancaster boy at a campsite near Bloomsburg in July 2006.

Earlier this year in Columbia County Court, Harclerode was deemed a sexually violent predator after his daughter, Jolee Djaraher, testified that he had admitted to her that he’d had sexual contact with prepubescent boys in the 1960s, 1970’s, 1980s and 1990s, including a then 12-year-old, Norman Gundrum, Jr., formerly of Milton, who is now serving a life sentence for a murder he committed at age 16 in 1994.

District Attorney D. Peter Johnson was a county prosecutor when Gundrum’s allegation arose in 1996, but he said there was no proof available to bring charges at the time.

“Not with the facts and circumstances we had to deal with,” he said.

Gundrum’s grandparents and the parents of the young Lancaster boy he molested a few years ago were in the courtroom Wednesday.

Also in court was Harclerode’s brother, Richard, of Lancaster, who wrote a letter to the judge telling of his support for his younger brother and asking her to impose a sentence of house arrest.

Djaraher did not attend the hearing, but the transcript of her testimony from Columbia County Court in January was offered as evidence.

Joseph Sheris, a licensed psychologist from Pottsville and member of the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, testified that Harclerode suffers from pedophilia, can not be rehabilitated and is a sexually violent predator.

Defense attorney Peter Campana, of Williamsport, is appealing the designation in Columbia County and did not call any witnesses at the hearing Wednesday, but did cross-examine Sheris at length.

In the end, Knight ruled that Harclerode is a sexually violent predator who must register for life under the state’s Megan’s Law.

Prior to the sentence being imposed, Johnson and Campana argued about the proposed penalties.

Campana appealed to Knight to use the federal sentencing guidelines, which would mean a maximum sentence of under three years.

Johnson objected, saying Harclerode’s crimes merited a much longer sentence of at least 20 years.

“If we want to assure the safety of the commonwealth, this man should be in prison for the rest of his life,” he said.

Knight said she considered Harclerode’s advanced age in imposing the prison term in light of Sheris’ testimony that rehabilitation is not an option for the convicted pedophile.

Campana said he intends to appeal the sentence.

Meanwhile, Harclerode is facing trial in Union County for repeatedly sexually assaulting a young boy at his Bucknell University office between 1992 and 1995. Jury selection in that case is scheduled for May 4.



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