Donald Harder III, a Saratoga County Sheriff's deputy, was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation on Friday, May 14, for his conviction of Menacing in the First Degree, a felony, according to information from Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy's office. Harder was also sentenced to three months in jail for a conviction of Official Misconduct, a misdemeanor, and three months in jail for convictions of four counts of Sexual Abuse in the third degree, all misdemeanors, according to information from Murphy.
The misdemeanor charges stem from allegations that Harder sexually abused four women by having sexual contact with them while on duty, during incidents that occurred in 2007 and between June and August of 2009, said Murphy. The felony plea stems from an incident in the town of Edinburgh in August 2009, when a victim said Harder placed her in fear of physical injury if she did not comply with his demands, all while wearing a sheriff deputy uniform, a service weapon on his gun belt and standing next to a marked patrol unit,according to information from Murphy's office.
\He plead guilty and resigned because he is guilty. You don't give up being a cop unless you know you've violated your duty to protect and serve. All of law enforcement is better served with him off the force, said Murphy in a statement.
Harder was on the force for three years and was generally assigned to the northern part of Saratoga County. He was immediately suspended when arrested on August 11, 2009. On March 11, 2010, Harder submitted his resignation, effective immediately.
Harder has been required to submit his DNA to the DNA convicted offender databank and orders of protection were issued against him.
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