Keith M. Ward, 47, is facing 25 to 40 years in prison with no parole when he is sentenced on March 5 by Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan.
The incident occurred in March of 2012 when Ward carried the 8-year-old girl from a bed where she was sleeping to a couch where he removed her clothing and performed oral sex on her.
The girl told her step-mother about the incident and she in turn notified police and the Tennessee Department of Children Services.
The victim underwent a forensic interview with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center and that interview was shown to the jury.
The case was handled by assistant district attorneys Josh Corman and Katie Ratton of the DA’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) which prosecutes cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of child victims; rape and aggravated rape of adult victims, and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults.
SVU reviews child-victim cases cooperatively with Shelby County’s multi-agency Child Protection Investigative Team.