Rankin County Man Receives 15-Year Sentence for Gratification of Lust Following Conviction by Jury

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Darrell Letease Ford received a 15-year sentence, following a three-day trial, for gratification of lust involving a twelve year old child. Ford will serve the entire sentence without the possibility of probation, parole, or early release. Upon his release from custody, Ford must register as sexual offender.

On June 30, 2013, the Pearl Police Department was contacted by the aunt of the victim who reported that her niece, a twelve year old child, had on previous occasions been left alone in the care of Ford and that during that time Ford had made the victim view pornography and had inappropriately touched the victim. Law enforcement then made arraignments for the child to be evaluated by both the Children’s Justice Center and the Mississippi Community Education Center (CEC).

During the forensic interview conducted by the CEC, the child disclosed that Ford had made her watch pornographic videos and that she had been forced to have sexual contact with him. It was also determined that the events had occurred at the Wood Glen Apartments in Pearl. A warrant was issued for Ford’s arrest.

On August 2, 2013, law enforcement officers arrested Ford and transported him to the Pearl Police Department to question him about the allegations. Ford was advised of his rights and agreed to speak to detectives. Ford told police that around Thanksgiving he was alone with the victim. Ford stated that when arrived at the residence he smoked some marijuana and fell asleep. Ford said that when he awoke the victim had removed all her clothes and was lying on top of him. Ford stated that he told her to stop and he made the child get dressed. Ford said that he informed the child’s grandmother of what happened but never told anyone else.

Guest stated, “The sexual abuse of a child is one of the most difficult issues that is dealt with in the criminal justice system. In these cases the jury verdict often hinges on the work of law enforcement. Without the hard work of Pearl Police Department this conviction would not have been possible.”

Guest concluded, “The verdict of the jury and the sentence handed down by the Court will assure that this child will never again be victimized by Ford. It took great courage for her to face the defendant and to tell of the abuse she suffered. Her courageous act has resulted in someone who would prey upon our most helpless members of society being held responsible for his crimes.”

Ford has been previously convicted of Robbery in Hinds County.

Defendants:
Name: Darrell Letease Ford
Date of Birth: July 25, 1967
Address: 2592 Old Country Club Road, Pearl, MS