Former Mississippi teacher sentenced for fondling student

Published 11:41 am Monday, November 30, 2020

A former high school teacher in Mississippi who was found guilty of fondling a student has been sentenced to prison.

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Faye Peterson on Monday sentenced Reginald Barnes to 15 years in prison with three years suspended for two counts of gratification of lust, WAPT-TV reported.

Barnes, a former teacher at Province High School in Jackson, was convicted on both of those counts earlier this month, about two years after his arrest. He was originally charged with sexual battery, as well as gratification of lust.

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Defense Attorney Carlos Moore said the female student was 17 at the time.

“He made a temporary lapse of judgement, some temporary bad decisions that are going to reverberate for decades, for the rest of his life,” Moore said.

Barnes had worked as a teacher and a principal for more than 20 years, Moore said. He was being held at a Jackson facility Monday, WLBT-TV reported. It is not clear where he will serve his prison sentence.