Jerry Harris Jr., 73, of Baytown, Texas, is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. Credit: Google Map
Jerry Harris, 73, of Baytown, Texas, faces a felony charge of transferring obscene material to a minor in a case that dates back to 2007, when Harris’s wife discovered child pornography on his computer and handed it to police.
“If it was my husband … I don’t know how I would have felt,” Harris’s wife, Sabrina L. Harris, told the Associated Press. “If I found a private file about someone, like a wife, I would have gone immediately to authorities.”
The story gained media attention last year because Harris became known to be an art dealer specializing in children’s artwork. The AP reported that after his arrest, Harris was released on bail. Because of his notoriety in the art world, he was barred from leaving the country, which put a dent in his business.
However, the AP says that Harris was invited to explore art and run a museum at a June 2010 conference in Switzerland. That was before the charges were filed. Prosecutors reportedly made one last effort to extradite Harris, but the request was denied, the AP says.
Harris’s case has drawn the support of an organization called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), who have argued that Harris should be treated as a high-profile child sex offender.
Harris declined the opportunity to speak with The Daily Beast about the charges.