Crime

Kiln man pleads guilty to assaulting 9-year-old

Keith Poyadou
Keith Poyadou

A Kiln man pleaded guilty this week to sexual battery of a juvenile.

Keith A. Poyadou, 22, was indicted on a charge of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old in her home in 2012.

Poyadou’s earlier in 2016 ended in a mistrial. Prosecuters with the District Attorney’s Office preparing for a second trial this week when Poyadou chose to plead guilty by virtue of “no contest” before jury selection began. His attorney, Damian Holcomb, said Poyadou maintained his innocence throughout the process.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, the child told family members Poyadou had assaulted her. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office investigated and the child was examined. The exam showed wounds consistent with her claims of sexual assault.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Daniel, who prosecuted the case, said the child was forensically interviewed at Hope Haven Children’s Advocacy Center, where she disclosed details of the assault.

“Crimes against children cannot be tolerated in our community,” District Attorney Joel Smith said after Poyadou’s guilty plea.

Poyadou, who faces a sentence of 20 years to life, is set for sentencing Jan. 26 after a presentence investigation ordered by Circuit Judge Roger Clark.

Kate Magandy: 228-896-2344, @kmagandy

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