A circuit court judge on Tuesday sentenced a Wiggins man to 19 years in prison for the statutory rape of a 14-year-old Stone County resident.

Julian Langston, 43, pled guilty to the crime on Tuesday in Gulfport before visiting Judge Forrest Johnson, newly-appointed District Attorney Crosby Parker said in a statement Thursday.

"The case came to the attention of the Stone County Sheriff’s Office when the victim’s sister called 911 after she walked in on the defendant, and the victim, who was 14 at the time, engaged in a sexual act at their residence located on Curve Road,” Parker said. "The Stone County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene and began their investigation, which included having the victim treated at the hospital, interviewing witnesses, and conducting a forensic interview of the victim. The sheriff’s office obtained a warrant for the defendant who was arrested and ultimately confessed to the crime.”

While entering his plea on Tuesday, Langston “apologized for his actions,” Parker said. “After hearing the evidence and the defendant’s apology, Judge Johnson sentenced the defendant to 19 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, suspended ten years, and ordered the defendant to serve nine years. Due to the nature of the crime, the defendant will not be eligible for parole or early release. Upon his release from serving the nine years, the defendant was placed on five years of post-release supervision. The defendant will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.”

Parker commended the victim and her family for quickly contacting the Stone County Sheriff’s Office “so that they could ensure that evidence was collected and the defendant could beheld accountable.

“As district attorney, our office will continue to work with law enforcement to aggressively prosecute those who commit crimes against children."

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