Jackson County man to serve 25 years after pleading guilty to sexual battery of a child

Cory William Skalla

A Jackson County man will spend 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual battery and touching a child for lustful purposes.

Cory William Skalla, 44, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery and one count of touching a child for lustful purposes on July 30, 2021.

The crimes occurred in June and July of 2017 in Ocean Springs and Gautier and was investigated by Ocean Springs Police Department. He originally was charge with six counts of sexual battery and four counts of touching a child for lustful purposes, as well as two counts of possession of sexually oriented material.

Skalla has two prior out of state convictions.

Judge Dale Harkey on Tuesday sentenced Skalla on the sexual battery charges to 30 years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with 25 years to serve day for day followed by 5 years on post release supervision.

As to the touching of a child for lustful purposes, Harkey sentenced Skalla to serve 15 years day for day in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He was assessed all costs of court, a $2,000 fine and $1,000 to the Mississippi Children’s Trust Fund.

Additionally, Skalla will have to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

“Protecting children in our community and getting justice for those who have been harmed is a priority for my office,” said District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath. “I’m proud that we were able to get justice for this victim. The Court’s sentence reflects the rapid escalation of sexual abuse in this case and the predatory nature of the defendant’s actions.

“The 25-year, day-for-day sentence holds this defendant accountable for his actions and ensures that he cannot abuse another child in our community again.”

“The victim was a 14-year-old boy who was looking for a father figure in his life,” said Assistant District Attorney Shon Ellerby. “Instead of being a mentor for the child, the defendant preyed upon the victim’s innocence and used him to satisfy his depraved sexual desires. I commend the investigation by the Ocean Springs Police Department and the courage of the victim during the prosecution of this case.”

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