FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2020
COVINGTON – District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Jerry Vince, 44 of Bogalusa, was sentenced to 99 years for Molestation of a Juvenile Under 13 and Sexual Battery of a Juvenile Under 13 by District Judge Scott Gardner.
The sentencing hearing was scheduled after a St. Tammany Parish jury unanimously found Vince guilty last month. In 2018, the victim disclosed to a school counselor that she had been molested and sexually assaulted by the defendant. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Throughout the investigation, it was learned there were also three other victims who had previously reported abuse at the hands of the defendant.
Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and Angelina Valuri, who prosecuted the case, argued for a maximum sentence at the hearing, noting the severity of the crimes, the defendant’s significant criminal history and the defendant’s lack of remorse. The victims and their families gave emotional impact statements as they recounted how their lives have been affected by the defendant’s actions, with one wondering, “what possessed [Vince] to do such cruel, nasty, inhuman things to not only me but several other little girls.” Another expressed sadness, recalling, “you always hear about stories like this but I never thought it would happen to me.” In describing the difficulty of coping with this trauma, another said “I am starting counseling again to deal with this and the nightmares I am experiencing since seeing you again”.
In announcing the sentence, Judge Gardner noted the impact of the defendant’s actions on the wellbeing of the victims. “The statistics show that the damage will be lifelong for these victims,” Gardner said. Then, after identifying several other aggravating factors and finding no mitigation, Gardner handed down the ninety-nine-year sentence and closed by describing this offender and crime as “….the worst of the worst”.