Jury finds Strickland not guilty in sexual battery case

Published 11:04 am Friday, December 4, 2015

Not guilty was the jury’s verdict in a sexual battery without consent case of a 16-year-old girl in Vicksburg.

Jereme Strickland, 39, was accused of inappropriately touching a 16-year-old girl between August and October of 2013. He was indicted in July 2014.

The girl, now 18, testified during the trial that Strickland came in her bedroom offering to put medication on a sore on her body, which he had done for her before, but this time he took things too far pushing her on the bed and touching her between the legs.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

She said she was able to kick him off of her, and after the incident she notified her mom who believed her and threw the man out of her house. Since then the girl’s mom and Strickland have reconciled. The victim lives with her father.

Assistant district attorney Angela Carpenter thinks the jury must not have seen enough evidence to convict him.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t believe her testimony, but along with her testimony the other evidence has to be strong enough and we can only assume that the jury did not find there to be enough evidence in the case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the man had indeed sexually assaulted her,” Carpenter said.

The DA’s office was disappointed with the verdict because they felt like they had a solid case, but the bright side for them is that the victim was able to have her day in court. Carpenter commended the girl’s bravery for testifying in court for the jury.

“Even though the results were not what we had hoped for, at the same time we feel that this helped the victim because this was an opportunity for her to get her day in court,” Carpenter said.

“We believe that this at least helped the victim, and we’re hoping that she’ll be able to continue to move forward with her life and that this has been some type of closure for her.”

Strickland’s attorney David Sessums was pleased with the verdict.

“They got the right result,” Sessums said. “That’s pretty much all I can tell you.”