GRANGEVILLE – A former Idaho County man will serve a minimum 10 years in prison, following his sentencing this week for felony sexual abuse of a minor.
According to the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, Nicholas J. Harris, 34, pleaded guilty to one count in September. He admitted to sexually abusing an underage girl in December 2018 in Idaho County. He was initially accused of two additional counts of lewd conduct with a minor under 16 for alleged crimes that also took place in Idaho County. Harris admitted he committed various acts of sexual abuse against the same child in two states during a four-year period.
The two counts of lewd conduct were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
At a Monday, Dec. 9, hearing in District Court in Grangeville, Second Judicial District Judge Gregory FitzMaurice imposed a unified sentence of 15 years with 10 years fixed and five years indeterminate. He retained jurisdiction over the case for up to one year. Upon the completion of the retained jurisdiction program, the court will determine whether to grant Harris probation. The court ordered the defendant to pay court costs as well as a $5,000 civil fine to the victim. Harris will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Harris is a former Idaho County deputy sheriff. He was placed on paid administrative leave on May 13 while the charges were being investigated. He had been employed with ICSO since May of 2016. His employment was terminated on June 21. Harris has been in California since his administrative leave.
Deputy Attorney General Kristina Schindele in the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case. The investigation was conducted by Idaho State Police.