James N. Harper (Booking photo by the Greene County Sheriff's Office)

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A 43-year-old man who was sentenced to 300 years in prison in Christian County for molesting a child under 12 is scheduled to go to trial June 10 in Greene County on a similar charge, but a different alleged victim.

James Norman Harper, who once lived in Springfield but has been in prison in Licking, recently was booked into the Greene County Jail in preparation for his pending trial.

Harper is accused of the statutory rape — and assorted other sex crimes, including molestation — of a girl who was 6 years old at the time. He was charged in Greene County in 2019, the same year he was charged with the similar crime with a different victim in Christian County. He was convicted in his Christian County case and sentenced to prison in December 2021.

According to court records, the victim in the Christian County case and the alleged victim in the Greene County case are children who are related.

A forensic interview was done of the alleged Greene County victim at the Child Advocacy Center in Springfield on Oct. 10, 2019. The girl reported to the interviewer where she allegedly was touched and how she allegedly was assaulted, according to court documents.

Shawn Kelly Martin (Photo from the Missouri Department of Corrections)

There was another defendant in the Greene County case. Shawn Kelly Martin, 45, was convicted by a jury of first-degree statutory rape and four counts of statutory sodomy and sentenced to life in prison in 2022.

According to court documents, Martin and Harper were once cellmates. Upon their releases from jail, according to Martin, they allegedly shared sexual access to the same young girl in Greene County.

The two men have a history of sex crimes with children and were on the Missouri State Highway Patrol Sex Offender Registry long before 2019.

According to the registry, Harper was convicted of child molestation in the first degree in Ozark in 1998. He was 17 and his victim was 5.

According to the registry, Martin was convicted of statutory rape in the second degree in 2002 in Crane. He was 23 at the time and his victim was 13.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Hauxeda. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at spokin@hauxeda.com. His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin