Mississippi News

Man sentenced for taking a minor across state lines for sexual purposes

Credit: U.S. Attorney’s Office – Northern District of Mississippi

A Louisiana man was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for transporting a minor across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ronald Latiolais, III, age 28, met a Mississippi teen online and began chatting with her using an online application.

In April of 2019, Latiolais drove from Louisiana to Mississippi to meet the 13-year-old girl. During their conversations, the minor revealed to Latiolais that she was underage. Despite knowing she was underage, Latiolais went to the teen’s house during the middle of the night, cut the screen on the minor’s bedroom window, and escaped undetected with the teen.

Latiolais admitted to committing sexual acts with the minor during a stop on the drive from Mississippi to Louisiana. The minor was recovered at Latiolais’ house the next day.

At the conclusion of the March 2022 trial of this case, a jury found Latiolais guilty of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in unlawful sexual activity, a charge requiring a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months in prison.

Latiolais has remained in jail since August of 2022, and was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison. Upon release from prison, Latiolais will remain on supervised release for five years and must register as a sex offender.

U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner of the Northern District of Mississippi announced the sentence on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 14.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation with assistance from local law enforcement agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Parker S. King and Julie Addison prosecuted the case.

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