An 83-year-old Texas man was fined $1,500 for repeatedly molesting a 10-year-old girl in church.
James “Jimmie” Lee Wright pleaded guilty on Dec. 20 to two counts of Indecency with a Child, reports Raw Story. He received no jail time, but was sentenced to 10 years of probation and 240 hours of community service, in addition to the fine, notes local station KTAB. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
The molestation occurred in Jan. 2014. According to court documents, the girl’s father went to pick up the girl at the church and found his daughter sitting on Wright’s lap behind a blocked door in the recreation room.
She accused Wright of touching her inappropriately and “telling her crazy things.” The same thing had happened on at least one other occasion, the documents show.
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Sexual abuse is committed primarily by individuals known to the child, according to Future of Children, a collaboration of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution.
“Abusers can be classified by their relationship to the child victim into three categories: family, acquaintances, or strangers,” the organization notes. “Sexual abuse is committed primarily by individuals known to the child, unlike the child molester stereotype that prevailed until the 1970s. In adult retrospective surveys, victims of abuse indicate that no more than 10% to 30% of offenders were strangers, with the remainder being either family members or acquaintances.”
There are more elderly sex offenders in prison than ever before, NPR observes. The reason, according to experts, is that molestation is the only crime that is likely to be repeated with age, and also because the elderly represent an increasing percentage of the general population.