PASCAGOULA -- A Moss Point man will spend 15 years in prison day-for-day after pleading guilty Friday to three counts of sexual battery.
Joseph Dewberry Jr., 21, entered the pleas before Circuit Judge Dale Harkey.
Harkey sentenced Dewberry to a total of 30 years, with 15 years to serve day-for-day and the remainder under post-release supervision. In addition, the judge ordered Dewberry to pay a $3,000 fine, $1,000 to the Mississippi Children's Trust Fund and told him to have no contact with the victims. Dewberry will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Dewberry is accused of having sex with two minors, ages 10 and 11, in the summer of 2012.
"I am proud that the victims and their families were able to see justice served in court today," Assistant District Attorney Kathlyn Van Buskirk said. "While this sentence will not bring back their innocence, it holds the defendant accountable for his actions against these two vulnerable members of society."
District Attorney Tony Lawrence added, "I am proud of the individuals in the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and in my office who brought this case to a successful conclusion. When a defendant commits an act against a child, it affects that child's childhood, that child's future and that child's family. This is a young man who will spend 15 years day-for-day behind bars for the acts that he committed. A lot of families, including his, were hurt due to his actions."