Man gets 30 years in sex abuse case

Published 12:56 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

A Vicksburg man will serve 30 years in prison following his conviction for attempted sexual battery of a victim under the age of 14.

Circuit Judge Toni Walker Terrett sentenced James Cole to 50 years in prison with 20 years suspended and 30 to serve during a sentencing hearing Thursday.

A Warren County jury convicted Cole on Nov. 23 after a four-day trial in which the victim and her mother testified. Ninth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ricky Smith said experts from the Children’s Advocacy Center also testified.

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Branan Southerland and Liem Walker prosecuted the case for the state.

Cole was indicted by a September 2020 grand jury on a charge of statutory rape of a victim under 14.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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