A former Canton police officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week for gratification of lust involving a young girl.

Lester Calvin Williams, 66, of 11901 Highway 16 in Benton, is required to serve the full sentence without possibility of probation, parole, or early release.

According to law enforcement officials, Williams had molested the child of a woman visiting the state on June 16, 2013.

"The mother had discovered text messages between the defendant and Williams and confronted the child about the text," a release from Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest stated. "The child informed her mother that she had been inappropriately touched by Williams."

The Madison Police Department was contacted by the victim's mother and began an investigation. A forensic interview was conducted by the Child Advocacy Center and "disclosed the abuse."

In addition to the young victim, Madison police identified past victims 30 years ago.

"The victims disclosed that they had been abused by Williams as young children 30 years ago," Guest said.

From there, additional charges are being filed against Williams in Louisiana for sexual abuse.

"Williams is a true pedophile who has secretly been molesting children his entire life," Guest said. "To make Williams' crimes even more heinous was the fact that many years ago he was a police officer who had taken an oath to serve and protect the public."

Information on dates Williams served as a Canton police officer was unavailable.

"Williams is now going to prison for the next 15 years of his life," Guest said. "This sentence will assure that he no longer has the opportunity to prey on other children."