District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced this week that Larry Woodard was convicted on a multi-count indictment charging him with three (3) counts of Sexual Battery and one (1) count of Fondling. With trial set to begin on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, before Judge Carol White-Richard in the Circuit Court of Washington County, Woodard chose instead to plead guilty to the charges brought against him.
Facing multiple counts of Sexual Battery, as well as Fondling, Woodard was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to serve a term of twenty (20) years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with fifteen (15) of those years to be served in prison. Due to the sexual nature of Woodard’s crimes, he will not be eligible for early release or parole and must serve the entire sentence behind bars.
The crimes for which Woodard was convicted stem from incidents involving a child under fourteen (14) years of age, occurring between 2018 and 2021, while Woodard was a resident of Greenville. At the time of his arrest, Woodard was located living in Indiana before being transported back to Greenville to face his charges. As part of his sentence, Woodard is required to register as a convicted sex offender and must follow all of the requirements that entail sex offender registration.
The case against Woodard was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney M. Austin Frye, who expressed his gratitude towards the Greenville Police Department, as well as the minor victim’s guardian, in their thorough investigation and relentless pursuit of justice for the minor child. Frye stated that “[t]oo often, sexual assault cases involving minor children are not brought to the attention of local law enforcement until years after the assaults occur, if ever . . . by that time, recollections often fade, DNA evidence may not be possible, and the potential for a favorable outcome for the victim is greatly diminished. The Greenville Police Department, along with this child’s guardian, ensured that no second was wasted in gathering the necessary evidence to convict Larry Woodard.” Frye also urged those who are, or may become, victims of sexual crimes to not delay coming forward and reporting the assaults against them, stating that “[t]he sooner a sexual assault case is put in the hands of law enforcement, the odds of a successful prosecution of sexual predators, like Larry Woodard, are greatly increased.”
Richardson added that the Office of the District Attorney appreciates the diligence and hard work of Investigators Danny Poe and Steven Torrey who led the investigation into the actions of Larry Woodard as well as Chief Turner and his entire staff for making sure that another sexual predator is removed from the streets of Greenville and Washington County.