Criminal Court Judge John Campbell sentenced defendant Mario Jones, 27, to concurrent sentences of 25 years in prison with no parole on each of two counts of rape of a child.
Jones was given an additional three-year sentence for a previous aggravated burglary conviction. Jones had been placed on diversion which was revoked when he was arrested in the rape case.
Investigators said Jones, then 21, babysat the child victims – girls ages 7 and 4 – while their mother worked. The incidents occurred in 2009, but a series of legal issues, postponements and continuances delayed the trial until this year.
The case was handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Abby Wallace and by William Jefferson Cranford III, a member of the Shelby County Honors Prosecution Externship.
Wallace is a member of the DA’s Special Victims Unit 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.