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Former county resident admits to sexual battery of granddaughters
By RUSSELL TURNER
A former Greene County resident will likely spend the remainder of his life behind bars after pleading guilty to sexual battery of his granddaughter.
Roger Lynn Holliman, Sr., 62, of 2000 E. Central Hill, Lucedale, pled guilty in Greene County Circuit Court on Monday to two counts of sexual battery. According to a statement from District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath’s office, the crimes occurred on or between Aug. 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 near Leakesville when Holliman was living in Greene County.
The victim was eight year’s old when the abuse began. Greene County authorities got involved when the victim and her 6-year-old sister confided with their mother about the abuse. During the investigation, another granddaughter of similar age was also discovered to have been abused by Holliman, who confessed to the crimes. Holliman was arrested on Feb. 28, 2017, after a 3-month investigation into the crimes.
Greene County Sheriff Stanley McLeod said despite the fact sex crimes have become all too common, this case was particularly disturbing to him.
“It doesn’t matter how often you see this type of thing, it’s just something you just don’t get accustomed to,” McLeod said. “For a grandfather of these young girls, who was supposed to be a caretaker looking out for them, to be the one who could do something like this is just unfathomable to me.”
“I am glad he is going away to prison and I can assure you this office will continue to aggressively pursue these types of cases and continue to seek justice and hopefully deter some of this type of thing from happening in the first place.”
Judge Kathy King Jackson sentenced Holliman to 40 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Judge Jackson stipulated the sentences on the two counts were to be served concurrently and ‘day-for-day’ meaning Holliman would be 102 before being freed from prison. Holliman was also sentenced to a fine of $1,500 and ordered to pay $100 to the crime victims’ compensation fund and all court costs.
Myers-McIlrath said she believed the depravity of the abuse in this case warranted what is effectively a life sentence for Holliman and added that her office will continue to prosecute child predators to the fullest extent of the law.
“The sexual abuse of these children at the hands of their grandfather is unimaginable and these children should be commended for bravely coming forward,” Myers-McIlrath said. “One cannot fathom the courage it takes for a child to tell about being abused.”
“Our children, the most innocent and vulnerable members of society, deserve to be safe in the care of their family members. Childhood sexual abuse steals youthful innocence and affects the child for the rest of their life. I hope this sentence sends a message to child predators that they are not going to get away with abusing our kids.”
Assistant District Attorney George Huffman said the damage Holliman has done to his grandchildren and family as a whole may never heal, but that he hopes the knowledge that the defendant will never be free to hurt another child aids in the healing process.
“I commend the bravery of these young victims in coming forward with their abuse,” Huffman said. “I also commend the efforts of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office to see that justice was served in this case.”