PUBLISHED: 08:19 EST, 10 August 2012 | UPDATED: 09:46 EST, 10 August 2012
An ex-pastor who was found guilty of sex crimes against juveniles allegedly tried to commit suicide in court by swallowing several white pills after the judge told him he would be going straight to jail.
Rev. James Richard Harris, of Belle Glade, Florida, was accused of trapping his young victims by abusing his connection to Glades Central High School’s football program.
He was found guilty of performing two sex acts on a 15-year-old boy he had lured with promises of introductions to football scouts and trainers to further the teen’s chances of NFL stardom.
Suicide attempt: Paramedics transport the Rev. Richard Harris after he tried to swallow some pills after he was ordered into custody following his conviction
He videotaped the teen masturbating while a pornographic movie played in the background, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The 64-year-old was also found guilty of filming an unwitting 14-year-old girl and her 16-year-old boyfriend, who is described as Harris’ godson, having sex act his house, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Restrained: Deputies subdue the Rev. James Richard Harris after he tried to swallow some pills, still visible on the table, following his conviction
Guilty: Rev. James Richard Harris was found guilty of performing two sex acts on a 15-year-old boy and filming two teenagers having sex
The two victims sat in court as the disturbing videos were played in front of a jury
Harris faces 80 years in prison after being convicted of lewd and lascivious battery, lewd and lascivious conduct, sexual activity with a minor, showing obscene material to a minor, and two counts of promoting sexual performance by a minor.
But as a judge told him he would be imprisoned until his sentencing on October 5, Harris grabbed a glass of water on the defense table and attempted to down some pills.
Deputies rushed towards him and tackled him to the ground, shouting: ‘Spit it out! Spit it out!’ according to the Post.
Harris was escorted out of the courtroom, handcuffed to a stretcher, and has since been placed on suicide watch at the Palm Beach County jail.
‘I think it was a cowardly thing to do, and it shows that he knows what he did, and that he’s facing a long time in prison,’ prosecutor Chrichet Mixon told the Post.
‘It’s just hard to see someone that you’re trying to help do something like that to himself,’ Harris’ court-appointed attorney Chris Haddad said.