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City teen sentenced to 15 years in rape case

A Brookhaven teenager was sentenced to 15 years in prisonWednesday after calling off his defense and pleading guilty toraping a young family member.

District Attorney Dee Bates said Quartez Deuntay Lyons, 18, of113 Henry Meyers St., pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rapeand one count of dissemination of pornography of a minor child,surrendering to the prosecution on the second day of the trial. Thevictim in the case – a girl under age 10, who was related to Lyons- testified against him, Bates said.

“He was determined to enter a plea bargain, and that’s what hedid (Wednesday) morning,” Bates said. “He had a number of peopletestify (against him), including the victim in the case.”

The Lincoln County Circuit Clerk’s Office confirmed that Lyonswas sentenced to 30 years in prison, with 15 years suspended forfive years of probation for the statutory rape charge and one yearin the Lincoln County Jail for the pornography charge. Bothsentences will run concurrently.

Upon his release, he will be required to register as a sexoffender and will be allowed no contact with the child.

Bates said Lyons was facing several more testimonies against himbefore pleading guilty. Besides the victim, the prosecution had atape of the victim’s forensic interview at McComb’s Child AdvocacyCenter and medical testimony from doctors who inspected her.

“Obviously, these are always difficult cases,” Bates said. “Mostof the time, it’s just one child’s testimony against an adult. Wewere very fortunate that we had some medical testimony aboutconditions that occurred because of the rapes.”

Defense attorney Ivan Burghard said any statements he could makewould be limited since both parties were minors at the time.

“I really can’t comment on the case except to say that it’s avery tragic situation for all involved,” he said. “It’s just aterrible, terrible case.”

Lyons, a starting offensive lineman for the Brookhaven HighSchool Panther football team while a senior in 2008, was firstarrested on a warrant and charged with the crime last August.Brookhaven police officers apprehended him in the LincolnCounty-Brookhaven Government Complex when he appeared at city courtto pay an old fine.

“I think justice has been served, but it’s still just a bad dealon both their parts,” said BPD Assistant Chief Nolan Jones, who ledthe investigation last year and testified in court Tuesday. “Twoyoung people’s lives… You’ve got a 9-year-old child who willnever get over this, and an 18-year-old whose been sentenced toprison. But Quartez brought this all on himself, and he’s going tohave a long time to think about what he did.”