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Petal man arrested for sexual battery of a child

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 11:17 AM CST
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FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Investigators with the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Petal man last Friday for sexual battery of a child.

David A. Batson, 50, was charged with sexual battery of a child under the age of 14.

“It is lustful touching... it’s unfortunate. But it was described by the child, and so our investigation continues,” said Forrest County Sheriff Charlie Sims.

Sims says sex crimes like these are increasing annually.

“It is a problem that we have seen increase in the last two years... It’s concerning, you know, when a child is very innocent and, you know, for any act like this to be committed on them is something that we take very seriously,” Sims says.

Because of the rise in cases, FCSO is taking steps to educate children on what is and is not appropriate when it comes to their bodies.

“...it’s a coloring book and it, you know, teaches children what is a safe and an unsafe touch. But also, it educates the parents as well,” says Sims. “So that type of information where you can, you know, if you see something that is out of the ordinary or you hear your child say something that is out of the ordinary... you know, there is a way to follow up on that.”

Sims says there are signs to look out for that may indicate a child has been sexually abused.

“Some things that the child will say, or it may be an action, you know, if you go to hug a child and they drawback or if, you know, they say they’re hurting in a certain area... those are things, indicators that may need some additional follow-up,” Sims says.

Batson bonded out of the Forrest County jail under a $35,000 bond.

If you have any information on criminal activity, please contact the Forrest County sheriff’s office at (601) 544-7800, and ask to speak to an investigator.

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