PALMDALE – A 60-year-old Edwards Air Force Base employee charged with molesting a boy since 2004 when the boy was just six years old has pleaded no contest.
Palmdale resident Paul Leo Harvey pleaded no contest in an Antelope Valley courtroom Thursday to one felony count of committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14. A no contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.
In exchange for the no contest plea, prosecutors agreed to drop the six remaining felony sex charges against Harvey.
Harvey will be sentenced to three years in state prison and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the negotiated plea.
“I’m happy that the defendant will go to state prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life,” said Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami. “The victim is getting justice, which is what he wanted.”
The victim, now a local high school student, came forward last month and told detectives that Harvey had molested him since 2004. Harvey was friends with the victim’s father and would go over to the family’s home to molest the boy, a credible source said.
Harvey admitted to molesting the boy in a “pretext” phone call, the source said.
On Aug. 15, 2014, Harvey was charged with six felony counts of committing a lewd act on a child under age 14 and one felony count of committing a lewd act on a child, age 15. The sex crimes were committed during a period spanning from Sept. 4, 2004 to Sept. 3, 2010, and then from March 1 to March 31 of this year, the complaint alleges. Harvey was charged with one felony sex charge for each year that the boy was allegedly molested.
Harvey was arrested at his Palmdale home on Aug. 21, and he has been jailed since his arrest in lieu of $700,000 bail, according to LASD inmate records.
Harvey is a civilian employee at Edwards Air Force Base, according to Chief Public Affairs Officer John Haire, who said he could not comment further until the case had concluded. A co-worker of Harvey’s who was in the courtroom Thursday said Harvey worked as an engineer.
Harvey will return to court on Oct. 2 to be sentenced and for a restitution hearing. After pleading no contest Thursday, Harvey was ordered held without bail.