December 9, 2022

Pike County man sentenced to 100 years in ongoing sexual abuse of his stepchildren

Therese Apel

A man accused of the ongoing abuse of his two stepchildren was convicted in Pike County circuit court on Thursday.

Robert Varnado was convicted on seven counts of Sexual Battery and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, after the three day trial in Magnolia. The prosecution was handled on behalf of the State of Mississippi by Assistant District Attorneys Brendon Adams and Rodney Tidwell. Circuit Judge David Strong presided over the case.

Varnado was convicted in connection with the ongoing abuse which extended over a ten year period beginning when the children were under ten years of age.

A sentencing hearing was held immediately after the guilty verdict was returned. As a result of the eight crimes for which he was convicted, Varnado was sentenced to serve a total of 100 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, without the possibility of parole.

Adams expressed his gratitude to Investigator Javonda Shanks of the Pike County Sheriff’s Department, who initially investigated the case, and the Southwest Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center, which rendered services to the victims. These agencies, he said, provided valuable work in assisting the District Attorney’s office in successfully prosecuting this defendant and in protecting the rights of the victims.

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