Paso Robles man pleads no contest to felony lewd act

A convicted pedophile accused last year of committing sexual acts with young girls after meeting them online pleaded no contest Tuesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

Shaun Harrison, 27, of Paso Robles pleaded no contest to committing a felony lewd act with a child and faces 30 years to life at his sentencing scheduled Jan. 18.

His prior criminal history under the state’s three strikes law could mean  more prison time, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran.

Tuesday’s conviction stemmed from 2011 when Harrison contacted girls as young as 13 on websites such as Facebook and MySpace to engage in sexual acts.

This was not his first such conviction.

“A true pedophile has been removed from the community and we hope he receives the maximum sentence,” Gran said.

Harrison was previously convicted for molesting a 7-year-old, according to the county District Attorney’s Office.

Harrison was sentenced in 2006 to four years in prison for a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 in 2005 and a residential burglary. It is unclear if the sentence was for one or both charges.

By spring 2011, Harrison was on parole and began meeting other underage girls online.

Harrison reportedly met the 13-year-old girl online and told her he was 19; asking for her phone number and if they could meet. They met on several occasions where sexual activity took place, authorities said. The girl later reported the occurrences to the Paso Robles Police Department, which prompted a six-week investigation into Harrison.

Around the same time, Harrison found two other girls online, ages 15 and 16.

He told the 15-year-old that he was 22 and they reportedly had consensual sex on five occasions.

Harrison never met the 16-year-old in person but he allegedly touched himself inappropriately while on the phone with her.

Police recommended the District Attorney’s Office charge Harrison with sexual intercourse with a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child and molesting a minor.

As part of his plea agreement, the charges related to the two older girls were dismissed but the judge will take into account the facts of those cases when determining sentencing, Gran said.

The victims’ hometowns could not be confirmed.