HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A former Long Beach police officer will spend the next 24 years behind bars. Harrison County District Attorney Joel Smith said Patrick Klis, 45, was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison, six years suspended, for two counts of statutory rape.
"There is no excuse for these predatory crimes against children in our community, especially when committed by someone whose job was to protect and serve," said Smith.
Klis pleaded guilty in December to both counts stemming from a sexual relationship he developed with a 15-year-old girl. Klis would have the girl sneak out of her house and meet him while he was on duty for the police department.
Klis was arrested in April 2015, and was fired from the Long Beach police force days later.
During the sentencing hearing, Smith said Klis' attorneys asked the judge to take his military and law enforcement service into consideration.
"From the state's perspective, that service is what makes this case so disturbing and deplorable," Assistant District Attorney Crosby Parker told the court. "Klis received recognition and trust throughout the community. Not only did he betray that trust, but as was seen in his Facebook messages, he laughed at it."
Smith said Klis is not eligible for parole, so he must serve his sentence day for day.