The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on April 27, 2018, a Bay County Jury found Johnny Ray Strickland guilty as charged of a single count of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation. Trial testimony revealed that in early 2017, the Defendant inappropriately touched the victim, who was 9 years old, on her buttocks. The Defendant was the victim’s neighbor and would allow the victim and her sister to come over to play with his chickens in Fountain. One day, the Defendant grabbed the victim around her waist from behind and lifted up her skirt. He then began to rub on the victim’s covered buttocks. When this occurred, the Defendant asked the victim if she wanted him to stop. The victim said yes and went home, where she later reported the incident to her mother and to officials at her school. The case was then investigated by Inv. Brent Patrick of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. The State called the victim and her mother as witnesses in its case-in-chief. The Defendant took the stand and denied the allegations. However, the State called Inv. Patrick to the stand in rebuttal to contradict the Defendant’s statements on the stand. The jury convicted the Defendant in a little over an hour.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 14, 2018, before Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Peter Overstreet and Lawrence Gill.
For additional information, contact Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford.