LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - A Lucedale man already registered as a sex offender for three previous offenses is now going to prison for the next 30 years.
A jury on Wednesday found William Lee Whittaker, II, 34, guilty of one count of touching of a child for lustful purposes and three counts of Sexual Battery. The jury deliberated just over 40 minutes before returning their verdict.
Whittaker was accused of sexually abusing a female child beginning at the age of three from August 2011 until September 2014.
"This child victim showed amazing courage in explaining what happened to her, first to law enforcement and then to the citizens on the George County Jury," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. "When a child is harmed by an adult, that child carries that pain with them for the rest of his or her life. I have said it many times before and I say it again, we will not tolerate crimes being committed against children."
Circuit Judge Dale Harkey sentenced Whittaker to 30 years day for day in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, without the possibility of parole or early release, and a $15,000 fine.
A search of the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry shows Whittaker was previously convicted in 1997 and 1999 for criminal sexual conduct with a person under the age of 13.
"I hope this 30 years day for day sentence renews the often repeated message – leave our children alone," Lawrence said.