A woman has set up an assistance fund for a Washington state man who spent 10 months in Utah jails and prison before prosecutors dropped child kidnapping and sex abuse charges.
The fund for Frank Harvey, 45, is meant "just to let him know that there are some people in Utah who care," organizer Betty Edmondson said. "It's just a love gift."Although established several weeks ago, "the response hasn't been overwhelming so far. The last time I checked, there was just $75" in contributions, Edmondson said.
"We're keeping it open until Aug. 1 and hoping more people hear about it and donate," she said.
Harvey, Elma, Wash., has moved back to his home state since charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and kidnapping were dropped last month. He had spent 10 months behind bars during investigation, trial and conviction in the abduction and molestation March 24, 1987, of a 6-year-old girl.
Charges against Harvey were dismissed shortly after police on June 1 arrested a new suspect - 31-year-old Thomas Headley, 31, Snowville, Box Elder County. Headley this week had his preliminary hearing and was bound over to 1st District Court for trial.
"It was simply a matter of coincidence, due to the fact Frank matched descriptions of the kidnapper," defense attorney Dave Eckersley said. "It was the car and dog mostly."
The girl, who was abducted from outside a Garland, Box Elder County, school and dropped off several hours later in Malta, Idaho, said her kidnapper drove an older model blue sedan and had a dachshund.
Those details matched both Harvey and the new suspect, prosecutors said. Harvey maintained his innocence throughout the investigation and trial.
Edmondson said Harvey has "had a real difficult time getting a job" since his involvement in the case and "he's used up whatever little savings he and his parents had."