A registered sex offender was sentenced Tuesday to more than 14 years in federal prison for luring two Abilene 13-year-olds from their homes, driving them to Fort Worth, where he kept them for a week, and raping them.
U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor ordered Robert Blaine Harris, 50, to prison for 172 months on a federal charge of enticement of a minor and aiding and abetting.
Harris, who has been in custody since January, pleaded guilty to the charge in July.
The two girls went missing Jan. 2 and were found by police Jan. 9 at a Fort Worth home on Tanner Avenue on the city’s west side, where “criminal activity had occurred,” police said. The girls were rescued when police went to the home on a welfare check.
The girls were later returned to Abilene, a family member said.
One of the girls told the Star-Telegram in a January phone interview that the suspect befriended her on Skout two to three months ago. Skout is a social media site for meeting new people.
“I thought we were just going to stay with him a day or two,” the teen said. “He had other plans.”
The girl said that she had been having problems with her mother, and Harris became her friend on Skout.
“He was fun to talk to,” the teen said. The Star-Telegram is not identifying the teens and their parents because the case involves sexual assault and the girls are juveniles.
Early on Jan. 2, the teen’s mother went to bed and the girl stayed up watching a movie. “He picked up my friend first, and she came to my window,” the teen said. “I just jumped out of the window and went with her. We went to his car, and when I saw him, I didn’t realize he was going to be that old.”
The teen’s family found she was missing a few hours later. Her mother later found a note saying she had left.
In the note, the teen told her mother that she needed to get away and she was sorry that she had caused her so many problems.
“You are not a problem for me, my problem is not having you home and safe,” her mother wrote on Facebook.
Her mother later found a Fort Worth address in her daughter’s old cellphone.
“I drove to Fort Worth and I found the address,” the teen’s mother told the Star-Telegram in January. “Officers were with me, but we didn’t find them there.”
Police went to Harris’ house in the 8400 block of Tanner Avenue after they got a call requesting the welfare check.
Harris told officers that the girls were “possibly runaways,” police said.
“There’s no need to meet a stranger for any reason,” the teen said in January. “Just don’t do it.”
Texas Department of Public Safety records indicate Harris, while in the military, was charged in 2006 with two counts of indecent assault against a 32-year-old woman and a 29-year-old woman. Records were not available with details of the cases.
A 1987 case involving theft of a check lists Harris’ address as Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth.
DPS records also show Harris is a registered sex offender. His risk level was listed as “not reported” in the DPS sex offender registry, but verification requirements were to be met annually, according to the DPS.
He first registered with Fort Worth police in December 2008, then with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department in March 2010, according to DPS records. Records show he reported to the Parker County Sheriff’s Department in April 2011.
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.