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Harmontown Man Charged With Molesting Children Sentenced to 30 Years

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

John Westmoreland

A Harmontown man charged with several counts for molesting children at his wife’s daycare was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

John Westmoreland, 46, pleaded guilty to four counts of touching a child for lustful purposes in December.

Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth sentenced Westmoreland to 15 years on two counts and another 30 years suspended and five years probation. If after his release—estimated to be in 2048—Westmoreland violates his probation he could be sent back to serve another 30 years.

Westmoreland was originally charged with six counts of touching a child for lustful purposes and one count of sexual battery. As part of his plea agreement, two counts of the molesting counts and the sexual battery charge were retired to files.

Westmoreland is being held at the Lafayette County Detention Center pending placement in a state prison, according to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

According to the indictment, Westmoreland molested several girls under the age of 12 between May 2014 and August 2016 while the girls were at the Westmoreland’s home at 17 CR 508 in Harmontown. His wife, Sherry Westmoreland ran a babysitting service and the reported victims attended the home daycare that was not licensed by the state, according to court records.

Sherry Westmoreland

The investigation began in July after one of the victims reported the alleged abuse to their parents. Then another five reported victims came forward with claims that John had molested them.

Sherry Westmoreland, 60, was charged with six counts of child neglect for knowing about the abuse and not reporting it. She is out of jail on a $500,000 bond and is still awaiting trial.

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