A Mississippi man was found guilty Thursday night (Oct. 5) of molesting two Jefferson Parish girls during a 45-day period in 2015.
Billy Joe Howard, 33, of Kiln, was convicted as charged of sexual battery of a juvenile under age 13 and indecent behavior with a juvenile under age 13.
The victims were ages 11 and 7 when the abuse occurred. Howard encountered the children after meeting their mothers through a dating website, in one case only a week before he molested the child, according to evidence presented to the jury.
He committed the sexual battery of the 11-year-old girl in July 2015, and he committed indecent behavior the following month with the 7-year-old girl.
Howard gained his release from custody after posting bond. While awaiting trial, he was accused of molesting a 16-year-old girl in Hancock County, Miss., according to evidence presented during the trial.
The Jefferson Parish jury deliberated just over an hour before returning with its unanimous verdicts at 7:45 p.m. Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Howard on Thursday (Oct. 12).
Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Zachary Popovich prosecuted the case.