Not First Time Charges For Lansing Man

(WLNS) – Joshua Harding, 34 faces two counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of gross indecency.

Police say Harding sexually assaulted two children last Wednesday at the East Lawn Memory Gardens in Okemos, but as our Nick Perreault explains, it’s not the first time Harding has been behind bars.

“This was a very tragic, but rare incident,” department of corrections spokesman Holly Kramer said.

Department of corrections Holly Kramer says only about four percent of criminal sexual conduct offenders re-offend.

Joshua Harding faces abuse charges for the third time, he was convicted twice before,

“We do watch our sex offender population very closely we have a zero tolerance policy,” Kramer said.

Across the state within the last three years, 13 percent of all criminal offenders find themselves back behind bars, for Harding this latest arrest this weekend is among many.

“He was convicted of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct in 2000, he violated his probation and was sent to prison in 2003 and released in 2009,” Kramer said.

In 2012 Harding was convicted of two more counts of fourth degree CSC, so you might ask how can someone with an extensive criminal background be out.

“He was given the max sentence and he served the max sentence,” Kramer said.

Taking a look at the numbers, the director of the crime victim services for the department of community health says, while the number claims has gone up from 2013 (1,500) to 2014 (1,600), he says that’s good news, because the number of those choosing to report those crimes are also going up.

“What we see are people who don’t want to report and they have legitimate reasons for not wanting to report, but we want them to be reported so that perpetrators can be brought before justice to stop these heinous crimes,” said director of crime victim services James McCurtis Jr.

Joshua Harting is being charged as an habitual offender.

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