OMAHA, Neb. — A Douglas County judge gave William Harrison, 63, up to 34 years in prison. He’s eligible for parole in 15 years. Prosecutors wanted Harrison to serve 100 years in prison. He won’t serve a third of that.
“People take their children to this facility or house, so it’s very troubling and the serious nature of the crimes lends itself to an even greater sentence than he received,” Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said.
Harrison originally faced two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child, but to spare the boy from testifying prosecutors lowered the charges to attempted sexual assault of a child.
The boy attended Harrison’s wife’s home day care at 83rd and Blondo. The Department of Health and Human Services shut down Deb’s Daycare in January. KETV Newswatch 7 spoke with the boy’s parents that same month.
“This man literally has taken this child’s life, took his childhood, took his adolescence,” said the father.
They said they struggled to understand their son’s behavior until he finally opened up about what happened.
“He was afraid no one would believe him,” said the mother.
Investigators said Harrison confessed to the crimes. They believe he also threatened the child. His lawyers asked for probation.
“It’s ridiculous to try and downplay the substantial harm that he caused to this child over a period of time,” said Kleine.
Neither Kleine nor the boy’s family believes 34 years in prison is enough.
Harrison is still charged with witness tampering. Prosecutors said he wrote letters to the victim’s family from jail. It’s possible he could face more jail time for that, as well.