Judge: 'This crime is pure evil'

Roy Lee Jefferson (Photo source: The Office of District Attorney Joel Smith)
Roy Lee Jefferson (Photo source: The Office of District Attorney Joel Smith)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport man who admitted having sex with an 11-year-old girl will spend the next 25 years in prison.

Roy Lee Jefferson, 47, pleaded guilty to Sexual Battery of Child and was sentenced to 40 years behind bars. Judge John Gargiulo suspended 15 years of the sentence. But because of the sexual nature of the crime, the remaining 25 years must be served day for day, without the possibility of parole. After release, he will be placed on five years of post-release supervision.

The case came to the attention of authorities in September 2011. Prosecutors said the child told her mother that Jefferson had sex with her the night before. At the plea hearing, Jefferson admitted to the judge that he had gone into the room and had sex with the child.

"Following the disclosure, the victim's mother immediately took the child to Garden Park Hospital where a sexual assault examination was performed. The actions by Garden Park personnel and the Gulfport Police Department resulted in Jefferson's DNA being found during the examination," said ADA Patti Simpson, who prosecuted the case.

During sentencing, Judge Gargiulo addressed Jefferson and stated, "Some people would say this crime is sick. My opinion is that it's not just sick, this crime is pure evil."

"There is no excuse for the abuse of children and our office will continue to make it a priority to prosecute those who commit these heinous crimes. I am extremely proud of the victim and witnesses from Garden Park and Gulfport Police who made sure justice prevailed today," said District Attorney Joel Smith.

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