April 19, 2023

Pearl man pleads guilty to sexual battery of a child, 20 years to serve

Therese Apel

Billy Joe Coker

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced that Billy Joe Coker was sentenced to 25 years for Sexual Battery by Circuit Court Judge Steve Ratcliff.

Coker, 67, will serve 20 years of his sentence in prison and then be placed on supervised probation for five years. He must register as a sex offender and will have no contact with his victim.

On May 5, 2022, the Richland Police Department received a complaint from the victim’s family regarding the defendant sexually abusing the child. It was reported that the abuse occurred at the defendant’s home in Pearl and also in Richland. Both the Richland and the Pearl Police Departments worked to investigate the matter.

The child was interviewed and disclosed that the Coker started abusing her when she was 14. Coker made the victim perform multiple sexual acts over four years. He would make the victim perform the sex acts, and then he would buy vapes and other things for the victim.

The victim’s family recorded the defendant confessing to some of the sexual abuse. However, Coker denied the allegations and requested an attorney when law enforcement picked him up. Rather than proceed to trial on all his charges, Coker pled guilty to sexual battery on April 11, 2023.

He was sentenced to 25 years for sexual battery involving a minor. He will be required to serve 20 years day for day in prison.

“I commend the Richland and Pearl Police Departments and the assistant district attorneys in our office for their outstanding work on this case, which resulted in this guilty plea,” stated District Attorney Bramlett. “The courage and strength of this child and the parents must also be commended.”

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