A 70-year-old man found guilty of sexually battering and molesting a child was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday. In addition, he received two 25-year sentences followed by lifelong probation if he is ever released, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.
Kenneth Ray Hunley was convicted of sexual battery on a child under the age of 12, and two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation Oct. 22. Prosecutors Barbara Beasley and Jae Hee Kim presented the case to jurors in a one-day trial.
At Tuesday’s sentencing before Circuit Court Judge Ana Maria Garcia, Beasley said the mandatory life sentence would be appropriate, as would his continued incarceration.
“The victim in this case is already serving a life sentence because of what the defendant did to her,” Beasley told the court. “He stole her innocence, he stole her childhood, and this is something she’s got to live with every day of her life.”
The victim, who prosecutors said was between 6 and 8 years old at the time of the crimes, did not appear in court. Her Victim Impact Letter was read into the record by Judge Garcia.
The defendant also was designated as a Sexual Predator.
At trial Oct. 22, jurors heard testimony that the offenses began with molestation and escalated to intercourse. The victim testified she was too frightened to say anything because the defendant warned her not to, saying no one would believe her.
The victim ultimately disclosed the abuse in interviews with the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. The defendant, in an interview with Bay County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Christian, told a story that did not hold up under questioning and made incriminating and contradictory statements.
For additional information contact Mike Cazalas at firstname.lastname@example.org.