Trial date set for former Pine Belt police officer

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A trial date has been set for a former Lamar County Sheriff's deputy and Hattiesburg police sergeant jailed on multiple sexual battery charges.

Averal "Junior" Burnett, 47, will stand trial on March 17, 2015 for four counts of fondling, two counts of sexual battery and attempted sexual battery.

Burnett appeared before Circuit Court Judge Tony Mozingo for an arraignment hearing Monday morning.

Burnett entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney.

Burnett was previously presented a multi-count indictment from a Lamar County Grand Jury. The indictment stated Burnett allegedly committed multiple sexual acts on a family member under the age of 18 involving unlawfully and feloniously touching with his hands, mouth, and privates to multiple parts of the victims body.

Burnett is being housed in the Pearl River County Jail where he also has two attempted capital murder charges in connection with a murder-for-hire plot.

Burnett served the majority of his 22 years in law enforcement with the Hattiesburg Police Department and officially retired from the Lamar County Sheriff's department on May 16, 2014

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