GEORGE COUNTY -- A George County grand jury has indicted a transgender man from Lucedale on assault charges and sex crimes against a transgender minor.
The grand jury indicted Krishna "Kris" Maroney, 24, on eight counts of sexual battery, two counts of touching of a child for lustful purposes and two counts of aggravated domestic violence.
According to the indictment, the victim had been in a "dating" relationship with Maroney, but was younger than 16 at the time.
Maroney is accused of engaging in sex acts with the victim eight times and touching the minor sexually on at least two occasions.
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Maroney also is accused in one incident of trying to strangle the victim. In another, the indictment says, Maroney cut the victim's tongue with a knife.
All of the crimes allegedly occurred between Oct. 31 and Dec. 31, 2012.
Maroney has pleaded not guilty.
The Sun Herald asked Maroney's attorney, Adam Miller, for a comment but he declined.
George County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Savage said an investigation began in August after the victim came forward with the allegations.
"When you have a young victim it does take time sometimes for them to disclose these type of crimes which have been committed against them," Savage said when asked why the case wasn't investigated until 2015. "It's actually normal to have a timeline like this."
Maroney is free on a total bond of $100,000.
A trial date is set for April 25.
Sexual battery carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years, and a charge of touching of a child for lustful purposes is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
If convicted of all the charges, Maroney could go to prison for life.
The case is the second criminal case involving a transgender person in George County.
Josh Vallum. a documented member of the Latin Kings street gang, is accused of beating Mercedes Williamson, a 17-year-old transgender teen from Theodore, Ala., to death with a hammer.
A grand jury indicted Vallum on a murder charge. The indictment say Williamson was killed between May 30 and June 2.
George County deputies found Williamson's partially decomposed body June 1 in the backyard of Vallum's father's home in the rural Rocky Creek community. Vallum was taken into custody June 2.
George County investigators said Vallum admitted to the killing.
Officials never identified the victim as transgender, but the Sun Herald went to Alabama to confirm her identity.
Vallum has pleaded not guilty. He's set to go to trial July 18.