Ridgeland man pleads to sex crime

Ridgeland man pleads to sex crime


RIDGELAND — A man here faces 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to molesting a 10-year-old girl.

Ronnie Hales, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of gratification of lust for molesting his then-girlfriend’s daughter, Madison County District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced last week.

Bramlett said Hales was sentenced to 10 years in prison without the possibility of early release or parole. Hales will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.

“We hope the minor child in this matter can now have some closure in this matter and move forward from her abuse,” Bramlett said.

On February 11, 2023, investigators with the Ridgeland Police Department received a complaint of sexual abuse involving a minor female. Bramlett said the child had reported to her biological father that her mother’s boyfriend had been molesting her since she was eight years old. 

Officers immediately began an investigation which included a forensic interview of the child through the Child Advocacy Center. 

“A forensic interview is a child-friendly conversation with children who are alleged victims of sexual or physical abuse,” Brmalett said. 

During this process, according to Bramlett, a trained specialist asks non-leading questions in a manner as to limit further trauma to the child while also getting any details of abuse. During her interview, the child disclosed multiple incidents of sexual abuse at the hands of the Defendant. The child explained that most of these incidents of abuse had occurred in her bed, Bramlett said.

Based on her disclosures, investigators executed a search warrant at Hales’ home, which he shared with the child’s mother, Bramlett said. They seized several items from the home including the sheets from the child’s bed. The Mississippi Crime Lab tested the sheets and located a substance on the sheets which indicated possible seminal fluid as well as the Defendant’s DNA.

“We would like to thank the many state agencies who worked together to ensure my office could obtain a conviction in this matter,” Bramlett said. “The Ridgeland Police Department, the Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center, and the Mississippi Crime Lab were all crucial parts of the investigative process in this case.” 

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