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Marin County Coroner Charged with Sexual Child Abuse

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NOVATO (AP) — A Bay Area coroner was arrested on child molestation charges with an alleged victim who was under 14 years old.

Darrell Harris, 46, was arrested Friday and is accused of sexually abusing a girl over the last nine years, the Marin Independent Journal reports.

Harris, who is in charge of the Marin County’s Coroner office, remained in jail Monday on $750,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

“I can only share with you that everyone, and I mean everyone, who knows him, is in absolute shock,” said his defense attorney, Douglas Horngrad. “Nobody believes it, from law enforcement to neighbors.”

The complaint alleges one count of continuous sexual abuse of a girl under 14 years old. The charge alleges that the molestation occurred on at least three occasions between May 2008 and May 2011.

The other counts, which include charges such as lewd acts and oral sex with a minor, cover various periods from 2011 to 2015. The girl was between the ages 14 and 17 during that span.

The alleged crimes occurred in Marin County, but the nearby Santa Rosa Police Department investigated the case because of Harris’ law enforcement ties.

Harris has worked for Marin County since 2003. In October 2015, he was promoted to chief deputy coroner and placed in charge of the office.

Marin Sheriff Robert Doyle told the newspaper that the department has not made a decision on Harris’ employment status.

“Darrell has been an exemplary employee,” Doyle said Saturday. “We’re saddened by the allegations.”

Harris is also a part-time commercial photographer who publishes under the name D. Alan Harris.