James D. Sudduth of Starkville, Mississippi has been sentenced to prison for the sexual battery of a child under the age of 14.
James D. Sudduth was originally arrested and charged with sexual battery against a 12-year-old girl in 2016. In January 2017, he was also charged with knowingly exposing the girl to HIV.
The HIV charge was dropped as part of his guilty plea. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole on January 30, 2018.
James D. Sudduth’s Criminal History
According to court documents, Sudduth, 34, was arrested for forcing oral sexual activity onto the 12-year-old on December 22, 2016. The assault happened in a bathroom of OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville.
In January 2018, he was charged with violating Miss. Code Ann. 97-27-14, which covers knowingly exposing others to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The child did not end up contracting the virus.
He faced 20 years to life for the original sexual battery charge. The HIV charge was a felony with a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.
He was held in Oktibbeha County Jail with bail set at $200,000.
Now that he has pleaded guilty and been sentenced, Sudduth must also register as a sex offender.
Sexual battery is not eligible for parole under Mississippi law. Consequently, Sudduth will have to serve every day of the 25-year sentence.
The assault on the 12-year-old girl was not James D. Sudduth’s first run-in with the law. According to court documents, he was previously indicted on two identity theft charges, which were retired to the file, and an uttering forgery charge.
He plead guilty to uttering forgery in 2008 and was sentenced to five years of probation. The probation was revoked in 2012 and he was sentenced to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with five years of post-release supervision.