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Zeeland man sentenced for zip-tying naked woman, home invasion

Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Aug 28, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Through tears, a Park Township homeowner said her safety was stolen from her as she addressed the man who broke into her home and unlawfully restrained her.

Kelly Wayne Harmsen, 47, was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court to up to 30 years in prison for the crimes relating to the home invasion. The Zeeland man pleaded no contest to assault with intent to rob while armed, first-degree home invasion, unlawful imprisonment and using a firearm to commit a felony.

The charges were filed against Harmsen after he entered a home in the 16800 block of Riley Street in Park Township at around 4:30 a.m. March 14. He placed the 54-year-old female homeowner in restraints, but she was not injured.

At Harmsen's sentencing, the woman said she was home alone, as her husband was out of state and her son was away at college. While taking a shower, the victim said she heard a noise and went to investigate.

"I was home alone, getting ready to start my day just like always," she said in court. "I let my dog out and ran the bath water. I heard a noise like the dog pushing the door open with his nose. It was cold outside, so I go to make sure the door is closed. I wrapped myself in a towel and go to close the door, but I don't even make it down the hall. There's a masked, gloved man (pointing a) gun at me."

Harmsen then ordered the woman back into the bathroom, had her put the towel over her head and zip-tied her hands behind her back, the victim said.

"I stand as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a victim," the woman said in court. "This is a role I did not choose for myself, a role I hate. Every day I relive the vivid details of that morning. It's like a dream, but in reality it is my nightmare."

While the victim and her husband made their statements, Harmsen stared at the floor and did not make eye contact with them.

"It is not necessary to restrain my wife with handcuffs when you have a shotgun in her face," the victim's husband said. "It is not necessary to order her, naked and terrified, to the bedroom and onto the bed if you intended to rob. It was not necessary to order her to reposition herself on her back while in the bed and pleading not to be raped if you intended to rob.

"You never attempted to take any money or valuables,” he continued. “I know what your true intent was. (My wife) knows and you know."

The victim said Harmsen's crimes were made worse because they know each other and are family members.

Although he was masked at the time of the crime and fled the scene, police arrested Harmsen at his workplace later that day.

The victim's husband said he feels guilty for not being there for his wife on the night of the home invasion.

"Knowing I was not there to protect my wife from your sick obsession will haunt me forever," the husband said to Harmsen. "You have terrorized my wife and damaged my family. You and you alone are responsible for the pain you have caused to so many."

Judge Jon Hulsing sentenced Harmsen to 12-30 years in prison for assaulting with intent to rob while armed, with credit for 165 days already served in the Ottawa County Jail. Harmsen was also sentenced to two years for the firearms charge, 85-180 months for home invasion and 85-240 months for unlawful imprisonment. The assault sentence will be served concurrently with the other three sentences.

In a statement to the court before his sentencing, Harmsen apologized for his actions and hoped for forgiveness. He then asked Hulsing for mercy so he could see his daughter and grandchildren again.

"You asked for mercy," Hulsing said to Harmsen. "The answer is no. You're going to get justice."

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