A Picayune man said he had remorse and would “gladly” die in prison for sexually assaulting three girls over a three-year period in Hancock County’s Leetown community.
Joseph Scott Rogers, 36, pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual battery Tuesday in Hancock County Circuit Court, according to a release from District Attorney Joel Smith.
Judge Roger Clark sentenced him to 40 years in prison after telling Rogers, “You did it. You’ll have to pay for it. You may well draw your last breath in the penitentiary.”
Smith said the investigation began when a 14-year-old girl told her mother that Rogers sexually abused her several times. Then, the mother questioned her other daughters, ages 9 and 11, and both told her they received similar abuse from Rogers.
Smith said the abuse had been going on in Leetown for three years. Assistant District Attorney Chris Daniel, who prosecuted the case, said the investigation showed Rogers abused the girls in Forrest and Pearl River counties and in Texas.
DNA evidence was collected in Hancock County, Smith said, and Rogers confessed to some of the acts to investigators.
The victims’ mother spoke at Rogers sentencing on Tuesday.
“No child deserves this, but they don’t live in fear anymore,” the woman said.
Rogers also spoke in court Tuesday.
“I apologize for the things I have done,” Rogers said. “I’ll gladly spend the rest of my life in prison.”
Rogers will have to serve his sentence day-for-day and will not be eligible for early release or parole.