Wiggins man charged with statutory rape | Crime
A Wiggins man was sentenced to prison for statutory rape, according to District Attorney Joel Smith.
Smith said 35-year-old James Upchurch pled guilty of statutory rape before Judge Larry Bourgeouis Monday at the Harrison County Courthouse.
Bourgeouis excepted his plea and sentenced Upchurch to 25 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
According to Smith, Upchurch had sex with a 14-year-old who became pregnant.
The teen's mother believed Upchurch had sex with her daughter and contacted Gulfport police. They began an investigation on June 2011.
When police first confronted Upchurch, he initially denied sexual contact with the teen.
Gulfport Detective Hugh Frazier and the South Mississippi Child Advocacy Center conducted an investigation. They sought forensic DNA testing on Upchurch, the victim and the newborn baby.
"Clearly, the DNA results solidified the evidence in this case and the testimony of the victim and her family," ADA Alison Baker said.
"The work of the police and our partner agencies were vital to locking up this perpetrator for a long time. It is those types of partnerships that help protect the children of our community," said Smith.
Smith said Upchurch will be required to serve his sentence day-for-day without the hope of early release or parole because of the nature of his crime. Once he is released he'll be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.