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Criminal Defense Attorney Arrested For Child Sexual Assault

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Michael Edward Harssema (credit: Collin County Sheriff’s Department)

Michael Edward Harssema (credit: Collin County Sheriff’s Department)

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ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) - Police arrested a criminal defense attorney at the Dallas County Courthouse on Wednesday. Michael Edward Harssema was charged with sexual assault of a child. He’s a criminal defense attorney who has practiced law in the state since the early ’90s.

The victim is a 16 year old female. The teenager cried to a counselor regarding sexual abuse, according to the police report. It explained that the suspect was a defense attorney who was hired by the victim’s family. According to the counselor, the child disclosed that Harssema sexually assaulted her on the first day that they met.

The teenager met Harssema in the summer of 2013 after he was hired by her mother, to represent her. One afternoon, she went with her mother tomeet Harssema for lunch at Uncle Julios in Allen to discuss the case. The victim explained that during this time Harssema constantly gave her compliments about how beautiful she was. After lunch, Harssema requested that the victim meet him at a Starbucks Coffee in Dallas to continue discussing the case. The victim’s mother agreed to take her daughter to meet Harssema that afternoon. Harssema requested that he and the victim speak in private during this meeting so that she would “open up” more about her case. Her mother agreed to allow her daughter to speak with Harssema alone at the Starbucks while she waited in the car. The victim stated, according to the report, that while they were at Starbucks, Harssema offered her drugs because she seemed to be “really stressed out and needed to be on something.”

After the lengthy meeting at Starbucks, Harssema requested to take the teenage girl to dinner to continue to talk about her case. Her mother agreed to allow this to happen and she went home. The victim explained that she and Harssema went to eat a nearby Italian restaurant until 10 p.m. At this time, Harssema began to drive her toward her home in McKinney.

On the way back to McKinney, Harssema stopped at a 7-11 store on Stacy Rd in Allen, according to the report. The teenage girl stated that he entered the store and purchased a 4-Loco alcoholic drink and then gave it to her. He also bought a beer for himself. The victim stated that after they left the convenience store, Harssema stopped the car in a neighborhood in Allen close by. The victim said that her mother was calling Harssema’s phone a lot during this time but that they did not answer.

Harssema took the teenager into the back seat of his car, according to the report and told her to cooperate with him. Harssema then raped her, according to the report.

After the attack, Harssema drove to a CVS in McKinney where he bought some cigarettes and gathered some napkins to clean up 4-Loco that was spilled inside of his car during the rape.He then took her home that morning. He told the her mother that his car broke down and that his phone was dead. The victim’s mother confirmed her story to police.

Harssema is currently in the Collin County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

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