FBI New Orleans

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A jailed FBI agent appeared in a video-conferenced court hearing Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to sex crimes involving children.

David Harris, 51, was arrested in June. A short time later, a judge ordered him held without bond in Ascension Parish jail, saying he posed "a threat to the public at large."

Harris' most recent assignment for the FBI focused on investigating crimes against children, including child pornography. He lived in Prairieville and worked out of the FBI's New Orleans field office.

His Tuesday arraignment marked Harris' second court appearance since his arrest. He wore an orange jumpsuit, and was one of several inmates who waited in line to communicate with the court though Zoom.

Harris faces one count each of aggravated crimes against nature and indecent behavior with a juvenile in Ascension Parish. A grand jury heard the case last month and issued an indictment, which mentions two victims under age 17 and alleged offenses that occurred in 2016.

After Harris stated his plea, the judge set his next court date for Oct. 19.

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Once the Ascension case is resolved, Harris will face additional charges in East Baton Rouge and Orleans parishes, as well as in Tyler, Texas. Officials also referenced an ongoing investigation in Florida.

Though his Louisiana arrest warrants have been filed under seal, a Texas report released earlier this month revealed new details about the allegations against him. 

Harris repeatedly exposed himself to teen girls and documented his predatory behavior on his government cell phone, according to the warrant. 

During a 2019 text message exchange about possible sexual partners, Harris said: "I mean they have to be in their teens. I'm not a weirdo. … Unless I move to Kentucky where 16 is the age of consent," according to Texas investigators. 

In addition to his position with the FBI, Harris worked as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, a position he earned after decades of military service starting with his 1992 graduation from West Point.


Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.