Man pleads guilty to sex crime


Lynwood Darby Jr. was ordered to serve two years of a 10-year sentence Monday after pleading guilty to indecent behavior with a juvenile for an incident occurring at his Patterson home on Nov. 9, 2012.
Darby, 46, changed his plea to guilty shortly before noon which kept a little girl and a woman from having to testify against Darby. The victim, who was the subject of Darby’s most recent arrest, was 5 at the time of the 2012 incident. Another woman was a 14-year-old girl when she accused Darby of exposing himself to her in 1996.
Erica Rose, an assistant district attorney, said, “I am always glad when I do not have to put a victim on the stand.”
Darby was facing up to 25 years in prison when he decided to plead guilty.
District Judge Paul deMahy suspended eight of the 10 years Darby was sentenced and placed Darby on three years’ probation after his release. Darby was fined $750 and ordered to pay court costs and fees. He must also register as a sex offender upon his release.
While Rose was prepared to proceed to trial Monday morning, it was no surprise to her that Darby changed his plea to guilty, she said.
“We had a strong case,” Rose said. “The Patterson Police Department did a good job.”
Rose, who handles most of the sex crime cases tried in the 16th judicial court in Franklin, encouraged all sex crime victims to come forward and accuse their molesters.
“No matter how long it has been, you should always tell law enforcement that you have been victimized,” Rose said. “You never know. These predators can still be out there victimizing others.”
In an unrelated case, former Morgan City Juvenile Services Administrator Verne Lightfoot was scheduled Monday for a hearing on Friday, Assistant District Attorney Anthony Saleme said.
In addition to malfeasance in office, Lightfoot is charged with forgery and theft of goods over $1,500.
Lightfoot, 35, of Patterson, was arrested June 13, 2012, by state police and accused of stealing nearly $35,000 from City Court through forgery and other means. She is accused of crimes that occurred from late 2010 to April 2012.
Lightfoot could face a prison term of up to 10 years each on the theft and forgery charges and five years for the malfeasance charge if she is convicted. In addition to possible fines on each count, Lightfoot could be ordered to pay restitution if she is convicted on the malfeasance charge.

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