was a Mormon church member and former "teacher of the year" at an elementary school in Santa Clara County, California; accused of sexual abuse of at least 10 children; pleaded guilty to charges relating to sexual abuse of four children; sentenced to 14 years in prison for lewd and lascivious acts on four children spanning a six year period; as of 2024, lives in San Jose, California

Case Summary

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Craig Harward served a Mormon mission to Uruguay in approximately 1972-1974. Gardner Russell was the mission president there during at least some of Harward’s mission.

06/10/04 California

LDS Craig Allen Harward, “pled guilty and was sentenced to 14 years in prison for lewd
and lascivious acts on four children spanning a six year period. He was a secretary in the
Bishopric

The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v.Craig Allen HARWARD, Defendant and Appellant. No. H026754. | (Santa Clara CountySuper. Ct. No. CC256862). | June 10, 2004. 2004 WL 1282850

Sources
  1. Teacher of the year accused / Milpitas man suspected of molesting 5 children
    view source details | 17 Aug 2002 | SFGate
  2. Ex-teacher guilty of molest charges / 14-year sentence in Milpitas case
    view source details | 12 Mar 2003 | SFGate
Sources excerpts
  • Teacher of the year accused / Milpitas man suspected of molesting 5 children
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: SFGate
    Date published/accessed: 17 Aug 2002
    archive 1 | archive 2

    A Milpitas man recently honored as an elementary school teacher of the year allegedly had been molesting students since 1997, police say.

    Craig Allen Harward, 54, already in Santa Clara County Jail on charges that he fondled a 10-year-old neighborhood boy, now is suspected of victimizing four other children, said Milpitas Police Cmdr. Dennis Graham.

    Charges involving the additional children have not yet been filed, Graham said.

    Three of the children attended Joseph Weller Elementary school in Milpitas, where Harward taught for the past six years. He is now on administrative leave,

    said Marlin Foxworth, superintendent of the Milpitas Unified School District.

    The four boys and one girl whom Milpitas police have identified as victims range in age from 7 to 13.

    The two who weren't Weller students, including the neighbor boy, knew Harward from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Milpitas First Ward, in Fremont, where he was a member and a secretary to the bishop.

    "Most of the incidents happened at the school, in his classroom," Graham said. "He had a stealth approach to doing things. He's pretty clever. He could approach them even when other students were around."

    Foxworth said district officials were surprised at the arrest.

    "He seemed a good teacher," he said.

    The district sent out letters to parents informing them of the arrest and asking them to contact the school with any questions or requests for counseling, Foxworth said.

    He declined to say whether the letter spurred new allegations against Harward.

    Harward, like other new teachers, was fingerprinted when he was hired and a background check was done, Foxworth said.

    Police began their investigation when the 10-year-old's parents contacted them on July 30, saying Harward had inappropriately touched their child during several incidents spanning about six weeks.

    The incidents, in which Harward allegedly fondled the boy's genitals and exposed himself, occurred by a pool in the complex and in Harward's home, where he lived with his wife.

    No children live in Harward's home, Graham said, but he does have a stepchild.

    Harward was arrested the following day, after surrendering at the police station with his church bishop at his side.

    He was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 14, Graham said. The charges have the potential of putting Harward in prison for life, he said.

  • back to online sources list
    Ex-teacher guilty of molest charges / 14-year sentence in Milpitas case
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: SFGate
    Date published/accessed: 12 Mar 2003
    archive 1 | archive 2

    A former Milpitas elementary school teacher has admitted to sexually molesting four children, including two of his students, and will be sentenced to 14 years in prison.

    Craig Allen Harward, 54, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on children under the age of 14, and no contest to a fourth count of the same charge, said Milpitas Police Cmdr. Dennis Graham. A no- contest plea is essentially the same as a guilty plea except it cannot be used to establish liability in a civil lawsuit.

    Graham said 10 children, two of them girls, had come forward since Harward's arrest last summer to say he had fondled them, among other things, between the years of 1997 and 2002. One was a child from Southern California, Graham said.

    Prosecutors chose the four strongest cases, Graham said, and Harward agreed to a plea bargain. The charges carried the potential of a life sentence.

    They involved four boys -- two of whom were 10, one 11 and another 13 years old at the time they were molested.

    Two had been students at Joseph Weller Elementary School, where Harward worked for six years teaching kindergarten through third grade.

    He was named teacher of the year for 2001-02.

    The other two boys knew Harward from the Mormon Church in Fremont, where Harward was a secretary to the bishop. One of the boys from church also knew Harward from the neighborhood where Harward lived with his wife.

    Harward has been in Santa Clara County jail since his arrest, Graham said, and will remain there until his May 9 sentencing.

    Police began their investigation on July 30 based on information from one boy's parents. Harward was arrested the following day, after surrendering at the police station with his church bishop at his side.

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.