Convicted child molester sentenced to 60 years in prison

A Mississippi man who was convicted last week of molesting two juvenile girls in Jefferson Parish was sentenced Thursday (Oct. 12) to 60 years in prison.

Billy Joe Howard, 33, of Kiln, was convicted by a jury on Oct. 6 of sexual battery of a juvenile under age 13 and indecent behavior with a juvenile under age 13. The crimes occurred within a 45-day period in July and August 2015.

Howard met the victims, who were ages 11 and 7 when they were molested, through their mothers. He met the women through a dating website. Neither woman was aware of the other until after Howard was arrested. While free on bond in the Jefferson Parish cases, Howard was booked in Harrison County, Miss., accused of molesting a 16-year-old girl.

After rejecting a defense-motion for a new trial and hearing impact testimony from one of the victims and the mother of the other victim, Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Howard to 40 years for the sexual battery and 20 years for the indecent behavior.

Judge Sullivan ordered the sentences to be run consecutively, given that there were two separate victims and crimes.

Howard will not be eligible for probation, parole or suspension of sentence. He also will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life after completing his prison sentence.

Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Zachary Popovich prosecuted the case.

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