Woman gets 20 years for sexually abusing her children

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A woman who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing her two biological sons was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender upon her release.

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett Jr., announced on Tuesday, May 4, that Judge Steve Ratcliff sentenced Dacoda Amber Ray, 35, to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting both of her biological sons.

“Protecting the youngest members of our society from sexual predators is a priority in Madison and Rankin counties, and we are fortunate to have law enforcement officers who will dedicate themselves to working these cases,” Bramlett said. “Most of the sexual abuse cases we deal with involve male perpetrators but know that that is not always the case. We must remain vigilant to protect our children.”

She will also have to register as a sex offender when she is released, Bramlett said.

“She pled guilty to two counts of sexual battery against a minor and will have to serve every day of the twenty-year sentence without the possibility of parole,” Bramlett said.

Ray entered her guilty plea on April 26.

Law enforcement was notified that the oldest victim had made abuse allegations involving both him and his younger brother. According to Bramlett, a thorough investigation into the sexual abuse allegations by the Ridgeland Police Department resulted in two counts being filed against Ray.

“We want to commend the Ridgeland Police Department and especially Lieutenant Brian Myers for his dedication and hard work to seeing this case all the way through to a resolution,” Bramlett said. “I also want to commend the young man who was willing to testify against his mother, in this case, to get justice for him and his brother. If not for his bravery, we would not be here today.”

Ridgeland Police Lt. Brian Myers previously told the Journal that Ray was initially arrested for disturbing the peace in relation to an incident at her grandparents’ home in Ridgeland on Aug. 13, 2020.

Myers said Ray was then picked up by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department from RPD custody in order to serve an indictment warrant for the sexual battery charges filed in Circuit Court on Aug. 5, 2020.

According to a grand jury indictment, Ray is alleged to have committed sexual acts on her two sons between Aug. 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018. The children were between the ages of 6 and 9 at the time of the alleged interactions.

Ray’s youngest son, Drake, died in 2019 by asphyxiation, choking to death on popcorn, the authorities said.

In the fall last year, Ratcliff ordered Ray to undergo a mental evaluation at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield after her attorneys petitioned for the evaluation.


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