An elderly Yazoo County man took a plea deal in exchange for five years house arrest in a 2019 child molestation case.
Charles Spiars pleaded guilty a lesser degree of contributing to the delinquency of a minor earlier this month in Yazoo County Circuit Court. Spiars was initially charged with gratification of lust last October after he was accused of fondling a 13-year-old girl.
Spiars was sentenced to ten years in a state prison, but that term is suspended upon his completion of five years house arrest.
The Yazoo Herald also discovered that Spiars’ home on Tinsley Road, where he will carry out his house arrest, is also the same location he committed the crime.
“His house is where the victim arrived to clean,” said Terry Gann, chief investigator with the Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department. “It was at that location that he touched the victim inappropriately before she was able to get out of there. Now, because he took the plea deal, he will not have to register as a sex offender.”
Spiars, who was 74 years old at the time of the crime, has also been instructed to have no contact with the victim or her family.
District Attorney Akillie Malone-Oliver said the plea deal was taken with the victim’s wishes and consideration.
“The victim was in agreement with the plea,” said Malone-Oliver.
Malone-Oliver said plea deals in crimes against children are, unfortunately, common. Many times, the victims do not want to appear in court to provide testimony against their alleged abuser.
“I have seen children shaking, frightened to answer questions,” Malone-Oliver said. “The court will allow an adult to hold their hands while testifying, but it is difficult for them to live that trauma all over again.”
Malone-Oliver said that although appearing on the stand may be difficult for some victims, the defendant has a right to confront their accuser in court.
Some courts allow two-way video conferencing so that the victim does not have to physically be in the courtroom.
“That option would allow the victim to not have to sit in front of the person who abused them,” Malone-Oliver said.