JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - On July 21, a 52-year-old homeless man admitted to sexually abusing a 14-year-old runaway inside his tent at a homeless camp in 2013. Wednesday, a Jackson County judge sentenced Joseph Eugene Barber, Sr. to serve 15 years in prison, day for day.
District Attorney Tony Lawrence said the teen ran away from home and met Barber at a homeless camp on Nathan Hale Avenue in Pascagoula. Lawrence said the sexual abuse happened inside Barber's tent between July 15, 2013 and Sept. 9, 2013.
Barber pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery.
In addition to his 15-year sentence, Barber was also ordered to pay $1,500 in fines, $100 to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund and $1,000 to the Mississippi Children's Trust Fund. He must also register as a sex offender once he is released from prison.
"This defendant took advantage of the victim and used the situation to satisfy his depraved sexual desires," said Assistant District Attorney Shon Ellerby. "The sentencing today held this defendant accountable for his actions without having the victim to suffer through the trauma of a trial."