Port Clinton man pleads guilty to rape after child porn found - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Port Clinton man pleads guilty to rape after child porn found

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Frederick Harder Frederick Harder
PORT CLINTON, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A Port Clinton man accused of producing child pornography discovered after an auction has admitted guilt to rape charges.

The case started nearly two years ago, when the porn was found inside a book purchased unintentionally at an auction house. Police traced it back to 38-year-old Frederick Harder. Now they have a conviction that could put Harder away for four decades.

"You're glad it doesn't happen to your own, but I'm sad it happened to anybody," said Brian Kuban, who lives in the same neighborhood as Harder.

Kuban says he's relieved Harder pleaded guilty Tuesday to the four felony counts of rape.

Police say Harder not only possessed the child porn that ended up at the auction house, but they say there was also evidence to prove Harder raped the victim in the images. Charges of pandering obscenity and sexual materials were dropped in the plea deal.

"These days, you never know what's going to happen with the courts," Kuban said. "Whether the guy gets convicted or whether he gets time or not, but I'm glad he did this time."

Harder faces a maximum of 10 years for each of the four convictions. Police say the plea agreement was offered to save the victim from testifying in a trial.

Matthew Heath, owner of the auction house, says he's glad he was able to help police once the images were discovered.

"Some of the crowds that were there at the auction, they're all relieved this is over with, that the guy is going to be doing the sentence that he needs to be doing," Heath said.

Harder will be sentenced on Feb. 12. A call to his attorney has not been returned.

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