HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Saucier man has pleaded guilty to having sex with a teen he met at church. District Attorney Joel Smith said James Ross Mayfield, 45, will be sentenced on Jan. 28 after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual battery of a child under the age of 16.
Smith said investigators with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department first looked into the case in April of 2014 after a bus driver reported seeing a suspicious man hanging out around the victim's bus stop.
Investigators discovered Mayfield started the sexual relationship with the victim in November of 2013 after the two met at church.
Smith said Mayfield left the state, but started the relationship again when he returned in December of 2013.
According to Smith, the victim led investigators to the place where the sexual assaults occurred, and they were able to collect DNA evidence linking Mayfield to the crimes.
Smith said investigators also searched Mayfield's cell phone records. What they found further corroborated the victim's story.
"The concerned citizens that first came forward with what they believed was suspicious activity were integral in today's convictions and should be commended. Their awareness allowed the Harrison County Sheriff's Department to secure crucial evidence of the defendant's crimes, and played a key role in the successful prosecution of this case," said Assistant District Attorney Crosby Parker, who prosecuted the case along with Chris Carter.
Mayfield is facing up to 30 years in prison for each count of sexual battery. The sentence will have to be served day for day without the possibility of early release.