Beach restaurant

Former Flagler Beach restaurant owner sentenced to 15 years in prison for child molestation

A 61-year-old Palm Coast man who previously owned Jimmy’s Hang Ten restaurant in Flagler Beach has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for molesting a child.

James Harris pleaded guilty to multiple charges and was sentenced on May 2 by Circuit Judge Terence Perkins.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had been notified on July 1, 2021 of a sex offense at a residence where Harris allegedly entered a minor’s room naked, touching himself and recording videos in the victim’s bedroom.

Detectives launched an investigation, performing a forensic analysis on Harris’ phone. He was arrested on July 2 and held in the county jail without bond.

He pleaded guilty to attempted lewd and lascivious battery on a person under the age of 12, lewd and lascivious battery on a victim over the age of 12 under the age of 16, and lewd and lascivious indecent assault on a person over the age of 12.

Harris was sentenced to 15 years on each count, to be served concurrently, followed by 15 years probation.

He must also be a lifelong registered sex offender.

He will reside at Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Center pending extradition to the Department of Corrections to begin his prison term.

“I hope this sentencing can be the final touch for the victim and his family,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “I would like to thank our Major Cases Unit again for all of their hard work analyzing the evidence that made this conviction and sentence possible. I thank the judge for imposing a severe sentence on this disgusting person. It should also be a warning to sex offenders that if you take away a child’s innocence and abuse them, we will get you and you will go to jail for a very long time!