Alleged Crawford Co. foster family abuse victim breaks silence

Date: 2013-08-05

By Cedra Mayfield

SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - A Scott County, Indiana man claims he and his siblings suffered abuse at the hands of a Crawford County couple now behind bars.

With his former foster parents behind bars, Cory Neace, 20, spoke out Monday about the alleged verbal and physical abuse he and his two younger sisters endured at the hands of Bernie and Melissa Harmon.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Couple arrested for sexual abuse, neglect of children]

"We got our hind-ends whipped with a wooden paddle," said Neace. "We got hit and whipped with a small, little extension cord."

According to Neace, the Harmons first took he and his sisters into their care in 2005 as foster children. He claimed it wasn't until the couple adopted the trio in 2007 that the abuse began.

"They had bruises all over their legs," began Neace, "all up here near their thighs."

Neace claimed that while in the Harmons care, the children were only fed bologna sandwiches and often locked out of the home.

"Whenever they'd go somewhere, they'd leave us outside until they came back," said Neace.

Neace, who admitted to running away from the Harmon household twice, said he was returned to the couple's care both times. It was only after he turned 18 that he left the system, returning to live with his biological mother Susan Wise.

"I think they should be locked under the jail," said Wise. "I don't think they should be able to get out and have a life because my girls, their life is ruined now."

The family is now working to regain contact with the two girls, who Wise claims are now 15 and 16 years-old. Neace said once he turns 21, he hopes to gain custody of his sisters.

Bernie and Melissa Harmon remain behind bars at the Crawford County Jail. Bernie Harmon is charged with 32 felonies including child molestation, sexual misconduct with a minor, vicarious sexual gratification and battery. Melissa Harmon is charged with 12 felony counts of neglect.


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