HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A nine-year-old girl courageously took the witness stand this week and told a courtroom how a 48-year-old man sexually assaulted her on a camping trip. Those words convinced a jury to convict David Alan Ringer. Now, he'll spend the next 40 years behind bars.
Trial testimony revealed that the investigation began as soon as the victim came home from a camping trip with family friends. The girl told her family the man who assaulted her was an acquaintance of the family she was camping with, and that he committed the sexual assault when others were sleeping during the trip.
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner from Ocean Springs Hospital testified about her examination of the child and the collection of physical evidence, which was later submitted to a private lab for DNA testing. A DNA expert testified that DNA found on the girl's clothing matched Ringer's DNA. A sergeant with the Harrison County Sheriff's office, who interviewed the victim, revealed that the child's statements were all consistent with someone who was a victim of sexual assault.
After receiving the jury's verdict of guilty, Judge Ward allowed the defendant to speak. Ringer told the Court that he was "sorry that he wasted their time."
Judge Ward then sentenced Ringer to a total of 50 years for both counts and suspended 10 years, leaving 40 years to serve. Due to the sexual nature of the charge, the defendant will serve every day of the 40 year sentence and will not be eligible for parole or early release.
Upon his release, Ringer will be required to register as a sex offender and placed on five years of post release supervision.