Lambert Mayor Arrested for Statutory Rape and Gratification of Lust

> Jackson, MS—The Mayor of Lambert is facing charges following two separate indictments by a Quitman County Grand Jury, confirmed Attorney General Jim Hood today.
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> Mayor Joe Willie Smith, 57, was arrested late Tuesday by investigators with the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division and the Quitman County Sheriff’s Office. The first indictment is for one count of statutory rape and the second indictment for one count for gratification of lust. The first indictment alleges that Mayor Smith “being a person seventeen years of age or older, did have sexual intercourse with a child who was under the age of sixteen at the time of the sexual intercourse.” The second indictment alleges that Mayor Smith “did willfully, unlawfully, and for the gratification of his lust did touch or rub his hands on the buttocks of a child, who was under the age of sixteen.”
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> Mayor Smith was booked into the Quitman County Jail with no bond set and is awaiting trial before the Quitman County Circuit Court.
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> “We understand the significant impact that an arrest of a public official has on the community,” said Attorney General Hood. “This case will be handled in the same manner and with the same integrity as every other investigation.”
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> If convicted, Mayor Smith faces up to 30 years behind bars for statutory rape and 15 years for gratification of lust. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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