BAY ST. LOUIS -- A Bay St. Louis man has received a 40-year prison term, with 25 full years to serve, for sex crimes against children.
Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois sentenced Matthew Timothy Davis this week on guilty pleas of sex crimes involving children, District Attorney Joel Smith said in a press release.
The crimes are exploitation of a child, sexual battery of a juvenile over age 13 and touching for lustful purposes. The unlawful touching charge involved two children, Smith said.
Bourgeois suspended 15 years of the prison term, leaving 25 to serve without eligibility for early release. He sentenced Davis at the Hancock County Courthouse, ordering five years of probation after prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
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Davis, 27, apologized in court and said, "I know what I did was wrong," according to ADA Chris Daniel, who prosecuted the case.
Davis had come under investigation in May 2014 in an undercover sting by Bay police officers assigned to the Gulf Coast Cyber Crimes Task Force, Daniel said. Davis communicated online with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl and made arrangements to meet her for sex. He had been talking to undercover officers, who arrested him as he went to a house in downtown Bay St. Louis.
Through that investigation, police learned Davis had sex with a 15-year-old girl in January 2010. There's no statute of limitations on sex crimes involving children. Davis could still be prosecuted for the 2010 crime, Daniel said.
While Davis was out on bond on charges involving the 14-year-old, Waveland police arrested him Feb. 6, 2015, on a complaint he had fondled a 9-year-old.
The child's aunt had seen Davis through the window of a family's trailer, touching the child under a blanket, Daniel said.
Davis' bond from his first arrest was revoked.
The work of the police departments and the task force "are perfect examples of the Coast law enforcement commitment to protection of children and prosecution of those who prey upon them for the own selfish desires," Smith said.