PASCAGOULA -- A Jackson County jury deliberated for a little more than an hour Thursday before convicting Damon S. Fagan of four counts of sexual battery of a girl.
Circuit Court Judge Dale Harkey sentenced Fagan to 40 years, with 30 years to serve day-for-day without the possibility of parole. In addition, Fagan will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Fagan, 35, engaged in sex acts with a girl beginning when she was 10 years old and a fourth-grader at an elementary school.
The crimes occurred at different times between August 2007 and August 2008.
The victim, now 15, testified at trial, saying Fagan had oral sex with her on numerous occasions.
Fagan tried to counter the child's claims, testifying at one point, "I don't know if it was sexual or just inappropriate."
Assistant District Attorneys Angel Myers and Kathlyn Van Buskirk prosecuted the case. Myers said, "The resiliency and strength of this child was not lost on anyone in that courtroom. I am so proud of her courage and proud to have witnessed her receive justice today."
Defense attorneys Mike Cunningham and Adrianne Crawford represented Fagan.
"I am glad the jury listened to the evidence and found that the defendant's guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. "The child victim in this case had to relive her nightmare by testifying, but she saw justice and accountability served today. Vulnerable members of our society deserve to know we will stand with them and protect them when adults decide to victimize them."