Gulfport man receives 15-year maximum sentence for child sex charges

Walter Lee Hight, Sr., 73
Walter Lee Hight, Sr., 73(Harrison County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 4:22 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Walter Lee Hight Sr., 70, pleaded guilty to touching of a child for lustful purposes late last week and has been sentenced to serve the maximum 15 years in prison.

The case began in September of 2021 after Harrison County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of child molestation after one child told her family of an incident involving Hight.

An interview with investigators also revealed one other instance which the child was inappropriately touched by Hight.

“The Sheriff Office’s investigation also revealed that [Hight] had molested multiple other victims, some dating back almost 40 years,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew D. Burrell, who prosecuted the case. “Four of those victims agreed to come forward and participate in the current prosecution.”

Two of those victims gave statements in court. After accepting Hight’s guilty plea and hearing these statements, Judge Lawrence P. Bourgeois told Hight that he “stole the child’s innocence” and had “betrayed the trust” of the child in the “worst way.” The sentence was then handed down.

“We thank the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and the Child Advocacy Center for their work and dedication in protecting children,” said Parker. “We also thank all of the victims who courageously came forward and agreed to participate in the prosecution of this defendant who has been committing these unspeakable acts for over 40 years. We hope this conviction and sentence wil help the family in their healing.”

Sex crimes in Mississippi are served day-for-day without the possibility of parole.

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