JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Attorney General's office.
Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Lamar County man has been sentenced to prison after being convicted of sexual battery of a vulnerable person.
James Orell Smith, 50, of Purvis, pleaded guilty last week in Lamar County Circuit Court to two counts of sexual battery of a vulnerable person. Judge Anthony A. Mozingo sentenced Smith to 20 years in prison with 10 of those years suspended, followed by five years of post- release supervision on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently to each other, leaving Smith a total of 10 years to serve behind bars followed by five years of supervised probation. Smith must register as a sex offender upon his release.
Smith was arrested last February and accused of engaging in sexual penetration with a vulnerable person, an adult female, who was a resident of Shirley Hodges Personal Care Home. At the time of the crimes, Smith was employed as a maintenance worker at the home in Lamar County.
"I appreciate Judge Mozingo for his sentence and the investigators who worked on this case holding this man responsible for preying upon this vulnerable resident," Attorney General Hood said. "Those who commit these types of heinous crimes should expect to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
The case was investigated by Trey Rogers of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Garland Lyell.