Undercover Sting Snags Adult Sneaking Into Child's Bedroom - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Undercover Sting Snags Adult Sneaking Into Child's Bedroom

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by Nick Beres

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. -- A 46-year-old man was arrested and accused of sneaking into a home through an open bedroom window and having sex with a young girl in her own bed. Police said it all happened while her parents slept just down the hallway.

"The fact that the suspect was going to the residence with the parents at home -- that's what's quite disturbing," said Major Bill Sharp with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department.

Sharp said Harry Leschen manipulated his 14-year-old victim online into a sexual relationship and visited her more than once by climbing through the bedroom window.

"It was very bold," said Detective Patty Hillis.

Investigators said the parents discovered pornographic photos and texts from Leschen on their daughter's phone and reported it to authorities.  At that point, Detective Hillis took over sending Leschen text messages posing as the girl.  She arranged for another meeting in the bedroom.

"I was posing as her sitting in the bedroom," said Hillis.

Then when Leschen once again came to the home and crawled through the window, deputies immediately placed him under arrest.

"I would think he was very surprised, yes," said Major Sharp.

Sheriff Robert Arnold credits the girl's parents for tipping off his detectives which led to Leschen's arrest.  He said he appreciated the restraint shown by the father, who once he learned what was going on, could have taken matters into his own hands.

"There's very high emotions with a father and daughter. He had great restraint and made the right decision by contacting law enforcement to handle the situation," said Arnold.

Leschen was charged with aggravated rape, burglary and unlawful possession of a weapon.  Detectives said he was armed the night they arrested him in the girl's bedroom.

Investigators said the girl had been manipulated to the point that she believed Leschen was her boyfriend.  It's possible she was fearful or embarrassed about telling anyone about his late night visits.

Sheriff Arnold called the case a cautionary tale for all parents. He said parents need to make it their business to check their children's text and chatroom conversations. 

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