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Judge sentenced former minister in fondling, sexual battery case

A judge in Tishomingo County Circuit Court handed down prison sentences for a former minister who pleaded guilty to fondling and sexual battery.

Posted: Feb 6, 2020 9:28 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2020 9:29 PM

IUKA, Miss. (WTVA) — A judge in Tishomingo County Circuit Court handed down prison sentences Thursday for a former minister who pleaded guilty last month to fondling and sexual battery.

Judge Paul Funderburk ordered Roy Steven Roberts, 64, to serve 12 years on each charge concurrently.

Roy Steven Roberts entering a courtroom at the Tishomingo County Courthouse on February 6, 2020. (Wayne Hereford)

Prosecutors recommended Roberts get 8 years in prison, but Funderburk gave the defendant a harsher sentence because he denied his guilt during the presentence investigation.

Prior to sentencing, an assistant district attorney read letters from the victim and those who knew her.

They included such quotes as "You have destroyed so many lives" and "I don't forgive you." 

The defendant told the court he accepted responsibility for the crimes and for the hurt he caused his family.

"I beg their forgiveness," said Roberts.

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