Crime

Coast 74-year-old accused of abusing 2 girls. But there may be victims in 11 other states.

Recognizing signs of physical child abuse

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year. According to Purva Grover, M.D., a pediatric eme
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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year. According to Purva Grover, M.D., a pediatric eme

A 74-year-old Waveland man faces multiple charges alleging he sexually abused two girls from South Carolina who were 8 and 9 years old at the time, Police Chief Mike Prendergast said.

But he’s also faced accusations in Ohio and police warn there could be victims in 10 other states he’s lived in.

The Waveland Police Department has arrested Harry Trest on 12 related felony charges, Prendergast said. He lives on Lakewood Drive, a road that runs north from the beach.

He is accused of sexually assaulting the girls and showing them sexually explicit pictures of themselves, Prendergast said.

The alleged abuse of the two girls began three years ago when they were in Waveland for family visits, Investigator Jamie Nelson said.

Police also have received calls alleging Trest sexually abused four children in Ohio. The girls in those allegations were 5 to 13 years old at the time, she said.

“The authorities in Ohio chose not to file charges, but maybe they will now that other allegations have been brought to light,” Nelson said.

There also may be victims in other states, she said. Trest is from Laurel but has lived in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and South Carolina.

Police arrested Trest on Monday on four counts each of sexual battery, unlawful touching of a child for lustful purposes and dissemination of sexually oriented material to a child.

Trest was being held with no bond at the Hancock County jail.

Prendergast said police want to hear from anyone with information that can help the ongoing investigation.

To give a tip, call the police department at 228-467-3669 and ask to speak with Investigator Nelson.

Autumn Bolden-Smith sang and spoke briefly of her experience as a sexual assault victim in April 2016 at a National Crime Victims' Rights Week program at First Baptist Church of Gulfport.



Robin Fitzgerald covers real-time news, such as crime, public safety and trending stories. In nearly 40 years as a journalist, her highest honors include investigative awards for covering the aftermath of the fatal beating of a Harrison County jail inmate in 2006 and related civil rights violations. She is a Troy University graduate.
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