Crime

Sex-assault victim felt 'depressed, dirty, nasty' after attack in Pascagoula

Johnson
Johnson

PASCAGOULA -- One of the girls a Moss Point man sexually assaulted said the crime committed against her left her feeling "depressed, dirty (and) nasty."

She wasn't yet 16 in 2014 when Octavious Jamal Johnson, now 22, forced her to perform oral sex.

After it happened, she said, she took a bath in bleach and water to try to clean the "dirty" off her.

"They (Johnson) asked me over and over to give it to them," she wrote in a letter for Johnson's sentencing. "As a virgin," she said, "I was scared. I never had anybody try so hard. I felt like I was going to get hurt."

After the crime, she said, she started hurting herself and dressing differently. She blamed herself for everything.

"I felt like it was my fault," she said. "I was getting bullied at school. We had to move. I didn't trust no man, not even my brothers. I felt like everybody was looking at me in the wrong way. I feel like crying every time I talk about it, so I don't."

The girl was one of two Johnson admitted sexually assaulting when he pleaded guilty in February to two counts of sexual battery. Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson later sentenced him to five years in prison on one count of sexual battery and five years of post-release supervision on a another.

In addition, the judge fined him $1,500 and ordered him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

One of the teens said she is still struggling to "feel secure in my own body" again.

The other, also under age 16 when she was assaulted, said after Johnson forced himself on her she was no longer able to trust anyone, even her own brother.

She became "emotionally void," she said, and felt like she could "explode at any given minute" -- character traits she said she never had before she was violated.

She said she's trying to move on with her life, with support from her mother and younger brother.

"I keep myself together because I have a future ahead of me ..." she said. She wants to make her family proud of her.

"I am a broken person," she wrote in a letter presented at Johnson's sentencing, "but I think it's time to put the pieces together."

In his petition to plead guilty, Johnson said he graduated high school in Moss Point and got work helping care for horses prior to his legal troubles.

A grand jury had indicted him on six counts of sexual battery. In exchange for his plea, the remaining charges were dropped.

Because he was only 3 years older than the young victims, the maximum penalty for each sexual battery charge was five years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Leilani Tynes prosecuted the case.

"This defendant received the maximum penalty for this offense, which will be served without the possibility of parole," Tynes said, adding the victims agreed with the sentencing prosecutors recommended.

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