Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney John K. Bramlett, Jr., announced today that Anthony Wayne Atkinson was sentenced to serve 20 years for Sexual Battery by Circuit Court Judge John H. Emfinger. The time will have to be served day for day without the chance or early release or parole. Atkinson will have to register as a sex offender after he is released from custody. Atkinson is 66 years old.
On April 5, 2018, the Pearl Police Department received a complaint from a local school regarding potential sexual abuse. A minor child reported to a classmate inappropriate behavior with her adult neighbor. Then, that classmate notified the school counselor. During an interview of the child at the Children’s Advocacy Center, the 11 year old child disclosed that Atkinson forced her to perform sexual acts on him over a period of four months and sometimes recorded these acts. She also disclosed that she waited to tell anyone because Atkinson threatened her.
The Pearl Police Department secured a search warrant for Atkinson’s residence and was able to retrieve electronic storage devices. These devices were sent off to the Regional Organized Crime Information Center for forensic processing. Ultimately, multiple videos were recovered of the sexual acts involving Atkinson and 11 year old girl.
Rather than proceed to trial, Atkinson pleaded guilty on October 19, 2019.
District Attorney John K. Bramlett stated, “This case is a prime example of why it is so important to talk to your kids about sexual abuse. Even if your child is not the one being abused, they need to know what to do if a friend confides in them. The classmate of this young girl unknowingly saved her from future abuse by talking to her school counselor. This started a full scale, multi-agency investigation which ultimately led to a sick predator most likely spending the rest of his life in prison where he belongs.”