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Hartselle man gets 18 years for soliciting sex with minor

By Staff Reports

A 20-year-old Hartselle man was sentenced this past week by Judge Jennifer Howell to 18 years in prison for soliciting sex from a minor and related charges, according to the Morgan County district attorney’s office.

Jordan Raper pleaded guilty in January to traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act, electronic solicitation of a child, two counts of transmitting obscene material to a child and harassing communications.

In October 2019, a mother reported to authorities that her 13-year-old daughter had been receiving sexually explicit messages and photos via social media.

Oct. 9, 2019, Morgan County deputies were dispatched to a burglary in progress at the residence where the 13-year-old lived. The investigation revealed a male had been sent to the address by Raper for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with the juvenile female, according to the DA’s office. The male was allegedly unaware the female was underage. He cooperated with the investigation that led police to Raper, the DA’s office said.

While on bond for those offenses, according to the DA’s office, Raper was arrested again for sexual communications sent to another juvenile female.

Raper repeatedly violated the terms of his bond by contacting juvenile females, according to the DA’s office, and after he contacted a third juvenile, Howell revoked his bond and ordered him held pending trial. Raper continued to contact females from the jail, the DA’s office said, prompting the state to ask that he be restricted from using technology that allows messaging and calls at the jail.

Assistant District Attorney Courtney Schellack argued that Raper should be sentenced to the maximum amount of time allowed, because of the nature of the offenses and the continual violations of the court’s orders. The maximum sentence in this case was ninety-nine (99) years or life imprisonment. Following arguments, Howell told Raper, “I do believe that if released, your behavior will continue. I do believe that if released, your behavior will escalate.”

 

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