A DNA test shows that a man from Hancock County, Mississippi fathered the 18-month-old child of his teenage victim, according to WLBT-TV. Officials say that the investigation began in early January 2023 when deputies were called to speak with a 16-year-old girl who alleged that she had been molested and raped over the past several years. After obtaining DNA samples and running a paternity test, investigators obtained evidence that the man was in fact the father of the child.
Additionally, reports indicate that deputies learned of additional sex crimes allegedly committed by the man in other jurisdictions, such as Louisiana. The man has since been arrested and charged with sexual battery as well as molestation. He is currently being housed at the Hancock County Adult Detention Center on a $200,000 bond in addition to a hold for Vernon Parrish Sheriff’s Office.
How Does Mississippi Define Sexual Battery?
In Mississippi, a person is guilty of sexual battery if he or she engages in sexual penetration with:
- Another person without his or her consent
- A mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless person
- A child at least fourteen (14) but under sixteen (16) years of age, if the person is thirty-six (36) or more months older than the child; or
- A child under the age of fourteen (14) years of age, if the person is twenty-four (24) or more months older than the child
Additionally, a person is guilty of sexual battery if he or she engages in sexual penetration with a child under the age of eighteen (18) years old if the person is in a position of trust or authority over the child. This would include – but is not limited to – things such as being the child’s teacher, counselor, physician, minister, legal guardian, parent, stepparent, aunt, uncle, coach, and so on.
How Does Mississippi Define Molestation?
In Mississippi, any person eighteen (18) years or older, who handles, touches, or rubs with his or her body or any part of their body, or with any object, any child under the age of sixteen (16) years, with or without the child’s consent, or a mentally defective, incapacitated, or physically helpless person, is guilty of molestation.
What Happens if Someone is Convicted of Sexual Battery or Molestation?
If convicted of sexual battery in Mississippi, the offender could spend twenty (20) years to life in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, if convicted, the court has the discretion to issue a criminal sexual assault protection order which prohibits the offender from having any contact with the victim, regardless of the relationship between the victim and the offender.
If convicted of molestation in Mississippi, the offender could be fined anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000 or spend anywhere from two (2) to fifteen (15) years in prison, or both.
Finding an Attorney
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Over the years, we have helped numerous offenders pursue favorable outcomes. Although being accused of a sexual battery or molestation is not a pleasant experience, there are many potential defense strategies that can be used to defend and reduce the charges against an offender. Call/contact us today for your free consultation to learn more.
Please also see us on mississippi-lawyers.com and view our reviews on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com. Our email address is mississippi-lawyers.com and our office phone number is (601) 948 – 4444 option 1.