Gulfport man to serve life sentence for sexual battery of child

A Gulfport man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of molesting a child for more than six years.

Judge Larry Bourgeois sentenced 67-year-old William Issac Arnold today after a three-day trial. The jury took just half an hour before returning the guilty verdict on the three counts of sexual battery. Arnold got life on the first count, 30 years on the second count and 30 years on the third count. The sentences will run concurrently.

The victim testified that Arnold molested her from the age of 12 until she was 18. The abuse was not disclosed for almost 10 years. The victim’s counselor, who was the first to hear of the abuse, also testified at the trial. During the investigation into the first victim’s report, it was discovered Arnold had molested a second victim and tried to molest a third victim during the same time period. Those victims also testified.

“Children, including teenagers, do not always report or immediately disclose the abuse they have suffered at the hands of a family member or trusted adult for many different reasons; but, the courage these victims displayed at trial allowed justice to be served in this matter,” said Assistant District Attorney Haley Broom who prosecuted the case along with ADA Jason Josef.

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