Rankin Co man sentenced for gratification of lust involving 12-y - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Rankin Co man sentenced for gratification of lust involving 12-year-old

Source: Rankin/Madison Co. District Attorney's Office Source: Rankin/Madison Co. District Attorney's Office
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Madison and Rankin Counties' District Attorney Michael Guest announced that a Rankin County man has been sentenced after he sexually abused a child.

Darrell Letease Ford received a 15-year sentence, following a 3-day trial, for gratification of lust involving a 12-year-old. 

Officials say Ford will serve the entire sentence without the possibility of probation, parole, or early release. 

Upon his release from custody, Ford must register as a sex offender.

On June 30, 2013, the Pearl Police Department was contacted by the aunt of the victim who reported that her 12-year-old niece had on previous occasions been left alone in the care of Ford and that during that time Ford had made the victim view pornography and had inappropriately touched the victim. 

Guest says that law enforcement then made arraignments for the child to be evaluated by both the Children's Justice Center and the Mississippi Community Education Center.

During the forensic interview conducted by the CEC, the child disclosed that Ford had made her watch pornographic videos and that she had been forced to have sexual contact with him. 

It was also determined that all of this had occurred at the Wood Glen Apartments in Pearl. A warrant was issued for Ford's arrest.

Officials say that on August 2, 2013, law enforcement officers arrested Ford and transported him to the Pearl Police Department to question him. 

Ford told police that around Thanksgiving he was alone with the victim. He stated that when arrived at the residence he smoked some marijuana and fell asleep. 

According to Ford, when he awoke the victim had removed all her clothes and was lying on top of him. 

He stated that he told her to stop and he made the child get dressed. 

Ford said that he informed the child's grandmother of what happened but never told anyone else.

Guest stated, “The sexual abuse of a child is one of the most difficult issues that is dealt with in the criminal justice system. In these cases the jury verdict often hinges on the work of law enforcement. Without the hard work of Pearl Police Department this conviction would not have been possible.”

Guest concluded, “The verdict of the jury and the sentence handed down by the Court will assure that this child will never again be victimized by Ford. It took great courage for her to face the defendant and to tell of the abuse she suffered. Her courageous act has resulted in someone who would prey upon our most helpless members of society being held responsible for his crimes.”

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