DA: Molester's 'reign of terror is over'

DA: Molester's 'reign of terror is over'

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A South Mississippi man will spend the next 45 years behind bars after pleading guilty to molesting two of his biological children and one step-daughter.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence said Michael Ryan Tillman, 44, pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual battery and two counts of touching a child for lustful purposes on Nov. 17, 2014.

Lawrence said the sexual abuse started when the children were around five years old and continued until they reached puberty. Officials say the crimes took place in both George and Jackson Counties.

"This defendant was a child's worst nightmare. Instead of protecting and raising these children, he became a monster within their home," said Lawrence. "This 45 year, day-for-day sentence will prevent him from being able to harm any child again. His reign of terror is over."

Judge Kathy King Jackson sentenced Tillman to serve 45 years day-for-day, followed by 10 years on probation. He will also have to pay $8,000 in fines and contribute $2,000 to the Mississippi Children's Trust Fund.

He is ordered to have no contact with the victims, and he will have to register as a sex offender upon release from prison.

"The defendant's actions had a devastating effect on these children," said Assistant District Attorney Leilani Tynes. "Unfortunately, children in our community are still being victimized by other individuals, and I hope this lengthy sentence will not only protect other children, but also send a message to those who prey on children to leave our children alone."

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