Crime

‘He broke my family.’ Kiln man sentenced on 7 counts of child sex abuse.

Child sexual abuse statistics in the United States

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
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One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

A 69-year-old man has been sentenced to prison on seven counts of sexual battery and molestation of a minor who was under the age of 13 at the time.

Alex Jackie Pearson, of Kiln, will spend 45 years behind bars without parole or early release, according to a news release from District Attorney Joel Smith’s office.

The investigation began in October 2016 when a relative of the victim contacted the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office to report sexual abuse. The victim’s mother reported she found a “sexual device” in the girl’s bedroom.

A Hancock County investigator reached out to Hope Haven Child Advocacy Center for a forensic interview with the child, which led to a search warrant and other evidence, according to the release.

The girl testified Pearson committed “multiple sexual acts on her” over a two-year period. Her counselor also testified that the behavior disclosed by the victim aligned with that of sexual abuse.

Investigators also searched for other potential victims. They found a woman who testified that Pearson abused her in a similar way more than 20 years ago.

Pearson tried to bribe one of the witnesses prior to trial, Smith said, but he was rearrested for bribery and the attempt was used against him in court.

During sentencing, the initial victim’s mother said, “he broke my family. He broke my trust and heart. Alex took my daughter’s innocence.”

Circuit Judge Chris Schmidt also shared some words before the sentencing.

“I can’t understand what would cause a person to do such evil acts to a child. There are no more reprehensible and immoral acts. She will be forever changed. I can’t change that, but I can sentence you,” Schmidt said.

Smith praised the courage of the victim.

“The bravery exhibited by this young lady and the diligence of the investigator led to today’s jury’s verdict,” he said.

This case was prosecuted by assistant district attorneys Chris Daniel and Alison Baker.

Britneé Davis is McClatchy’s South Region Digital Producer. The south region includes the Sun Herald, the Telegraph, and the Ledger-Enquirer.
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