A Lowndes County man will spend 50 years in prison after a jury found him guilty this week of two counts of sexual battery of a 12-year-old girl.
Ryan Scott Perrigin, 42, was sentenced to 25 years in Mississippi Department of Corrections for each count, Judge Lee Howard announced in the Lowndes County Courthouse Thursday, following a two-day trial in which defense attorney Rhonda Hayes-Ellis indicated multiple children testified.
Perrigin was initially arrested in September 2019. According to his indictment, he assaulted the victim in July and August of 2019, when he was 40.
At Perrigin’s sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Collen Hudson spoke on behalf of the victim, who said she did not have a particular sentence in mind and understood that the conviction affected not only her, but Perrigin’s children and family.
“She did want the court to be aware that she feels she’s in a lose-lose situation,” Hudson said.
She added the assault and the trial had been “tough on her physically and emotionally.”
The Dispatch does not identify victims of sex crimes.
Perrigin’s mother-in-law, Brenda Langford, testified on Perrigin’s behalf during the sentencing hearing and said she didn’t believe Perrigin committed the crimes, even though a jury had found him guilty.
“I think he’s a good person and I don’t believe he ever did any of this,” she said tearfully on the stand.
Langford said she had severe health issues, including heart surgery, and that Perrigin was her primary caretaker.
“I love him like my son,” she said.
She and Perrigin’s wife, Latasha Perrigin, both asked Howard for leniency in the sentencing, with Latasha Perrigin indicating she wanted him to be able to spend time with their children before he died.
The penalty for sexual battery ranges from 20 years to life in prison.
Hayes-Ellis declined to comment to The Dispatch after the sentencing, noting she had not had an opportunity to speak with her client after the hearing and prepare a statement he wanted to give.