A 58-year-old Houma man convicted of sexually assaulting two underage relatives will serve 25 years in prison, a judge ruled.
Johnny Elderton, of Country Boy Court, was convicted June 27 of two counts of sexual battery in connection to an investigation launched by the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Elderton must serve the 25-year sentence without probation, parole or suspension of sentence, District Judge David Arceneaux said on Wednesday.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Mustin, who prosecuted the case, said she hoped the lengthy sentence will give the victims time to heal.
“We feel that, with the conviction and 25-year sentence, justice has been served,” Mustin said. “I applaud both the young victims for their bravery in coming to trial and testifying as to what happened to them. I hope they and their families can now begin to move past this and heal.”
The defendant was arrested July 18, 2016, after detectives received a tip that he had sexually abused two children, ages 6 and 8.
Deputies were called to a Houma residence around 8 p.m. July 17, 2016, and learned that relatives were babysitting the 6-year-old that weekend, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Detectives later learned Elderton had committed a second sexual battery on the 8-year-old during the weekend of July 9-10, 2016, the Sheriff’s Office said.
According to prosecutors, Elderton was sitting with the victims on a chair while covered with a blanket. The defendant then touched both girls inappropriately on separate occasions.
Prosecutors said statements provided by both victims were consistent and accurate.
“She told what happened to her as if she were talking about playing Candy Land with her brother,” Mustin said of the 6-year-old victim. “It came naturally because it was the truth.”
Elderton’s Baton Rouge attorney Jim Holt could not be reached for comment.
--Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.