August 16, 2022

Canton man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting vulnerable woman

Therese Apel

Antwon Harris

A Canton man has pleaded guilty to sexual battery and felon in possession of a firearm as a non-violent habitual offender.

Madison and Rankin county District Attorney Bubba Bramlett said Antwon Harris, 35, pled guilty on Monday. He was sentenced by Judge Steve Ratcliff to the maximum for each offense for a total of 40 years to serve day-for-day, without the eligibility for parole.

On January 13, authorities say Harris posed as a new hire for Canton Manor Nursing Home, entering the building in the early morning hours. Harris then went to the room of a 29-year-old female resident. Due to severe developmental delays, the victim had been a resident in a care facility for most of her life. Surveillance video showed Harris enter the victim’s room.

Authorities say Harris then forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. Nursing staff at Canton Manor found a used condom in the victim’s trash can, alerting them to the sexual assault. Forensic evidence from the victim’s sexual assault examination confirmed Harris’s DNA on the victim’s body.

When officers located Harris the next night, they found a handgun on the driver’s seat of his car. Harris had been convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm twice previously.

“Antwon Harris deserves every day of the sentence he received. I am appreciative that the staff of Canton Manor Nursing Home and the Canton Police Department were so quick and thorough in their investigations,” said Bramlett. “This allowed the Crime Lab to obtain Harris’s DNA, ensuring a conviction in this case. Harris had been convicted of at least three prior felonies out of Texas. This career criminal conned employees of Canton Manor Nursing Home to sexually abuse a vulnerable adult.”

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