PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A former Jackson County deputy has been found guilty on four counts of sexual battery, and one count of touching a child for lustful purposes.
Following a three-day trial, 48-year-old Jason McGrath was sentenced to a total of 40 years in jail, day by day. Following his release, McGrath will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life, and serve 10 years of post release supervision.
McGrath is accused of sexually abusing his then 13-year-old step-daughter in 2014. During the trial, two additional relatives told a jury that McGrath abused or "engaged in other sexual contact with them when they were children."
"This defendant has abused children in his family for many years. I am proud of the victim in this case, who came forward about the abuse and gave other victims of this defendant the courage to come forward about the abuse they suffered by him. This sentence will ensure that the defendant will no longer have the opportunity to abuse another child," said Assistant District Attorney Shon Ellerby.
District Attorney Tony Lawrence added, "When he was a deputy, this defendant took an oath to serve and protect this community. Not only did he violate his oath, but he also violated the trust these children and their family members placed in him to be around their children. Three children lost their innocence due to his depraved sexual abuse. I am proud the jury heard the evidence and found him guilty. This forty year, day for day, sentence certainly tells this defendant, and I hope others, to leave our children alone and we will not tolerate abuse of our children."