Canton Man Receives 23-Year Sentence for Statutory Rape

For Immediate Release
January 15, 2009
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Jessie Beal received a 23-year sentence for statutory rape. Beal will be required to serve every single day of his 23-year sentence imposed by the court. In addition, he will be required to register as sexual offender upon his release.

In May, Beal admitted his guilt and entered an open plea the morning his trial was to begin.

Guest stated, “The evidence against Beal was overwhelming and included the testimony of the victim as well as DNA tests that confirmed that Beal had impregnated the victim. This child was sexually assaulted by someone she knew and whom her family trusted. This case is an example of why, we as parents, must work diligently to make sure that our children are kept safe.”

Guest added, “This case demonstrates that our judicial system is working to identify and prosecute individuals that hurt our children. Our office will continue working with law enforcement to remove sexual predators from our streets.”

On April 25, 2008, the Canton Police Department was informed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services that Beal, a 36 year old male, had fathered a child with the 15-year old victim. DHS had been contact after the victim had a positive pregnancy test.

A social worker then spoke with the child and victim identified her rapist as Beal, a close family friend. The victim also stated that the sexual abuse had been ongoing for a long period of time. DNA tests were performed and showed that Jessie Beal was the father of the victim’s baby.

At sentencing, the defendant attempted to blame the victim and stated that he was sleeping and later awoke to find that he had engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim without his knowledge. The Court found his explanation of the events to be unbelievable.

Beal has been previously convicted of selling cocaine in Madison County Circuit Court in 2002.