Jackson man sentenced to 15 years for child molestation

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Carl J. Williams, 36, of Jackson was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday for child molestation.

On Feb. 15, Circuit Judge William L. Syler Jr., found Williams guilty after a bench trial where the victim, now 11, testified about the abuse that occurred between April 27 and April 30.

Tammy Gwaltney, director of the Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence, and the child's mother testified about corroborating statements the victim had made to them about the sexual abuse.

Detective Scott Eakers of the Jackson Police Department also testified that Williams had admitted to molesting the child, and a tape-recorded confession was placed in evidence.

Williams testified that he only confessed because he thought it was what the officer wanted to hear, and denied ever having abused the child.

Because of previous convictions for burglary and escape from custody, Williams was charged as a prior and persistent offender and assistant prosecuting attorney Angel Woodruff asked for a sentence of 30 years, the maximum penalty.

Woodruff argued that the crime would effect the child in every way in the future.

Amy Metzinger, Williams' attorney, asked that Syler sentence Williams to probation, arguing that while he was not admitting guilt, he was deeply sorry for what the victim had gone through.

In a letter the child's mother addressed to the court, she said "I am glad that my daughter is as strong as she is."

Williams asked for mercy from Syler, saying he had children at home for whom he needed to care.

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