Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has announced the sentencing of four individuals who were investigated and prosecuted for child exploitation and assault.
On March 8, Edward Anthony Rahaim of Hattiesburg was sentenced by Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert Helfrich to 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) with 12 of those years to serve and the remaining eight years suspended for one count of aggravated assault domestic violence. Rahaim was also sentenced to six months for simple assault domestic violence, to run concurrent to this sentence.
Michael Jerome Murphy of Courtland was sentenced by Panola County Circuit Court Judge Smith Murphey on March 9 to 40 years in the custody of the MDOC, with eight years to serve, five years supervised probation, and 27 years non-reporting probation for one count of possession of child exploitation material. Murphy will be required to serve his sentence day-for-day without the possibility of parole and must also register as a sex offender upon release from incarceration.
On March 10, David Hammond of Petal was sentenced by Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert Helfrich to 20 years in the custody of the MDOC, with six years to serve and five years of post-release supervision by MDOC for a single count of child exploitation. Hammond will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from incarceration.
Justin Lance Ducre of Carriere was sentenced by Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert Helfrich on March 10 to 20 years in the custody of the MDOC with eight years to serve day-for-day followed by five years of supervised post-release supervision by MDOC, for one count of child exploitation. Ducre will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from incarceration.
These cases were brought about by the AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force as well as “Operation Sweet Tooth,” a multi-jurisdiction operation led by the AG’s ICAC task force, which included the assistance of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
“I am proud of how diligently my team investigates and prosecutes these difficult cases, but I am prouder still of the brave concerned citizens who took the initiative to protect others by placing these tips,” Fitch said. “Justice here started with the community stepping up and rallying together to stop dangerous predators. If you suspect abuse, please tell someone. Your tip could change and save lives.”