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Ex-educator gets 20 years on two counts

Jason R. Case was an entrusted educator – an educator in Copiah and Lincoln County Schools – and served a term as director for a prevention-intervention program for sexual abuse.

It was for these reasons that District Attorney for the 14th Judicial District Dee Bates asked Circuit Court Judge David Strong for the maximum penalty at Case’s sentencing Monday.

Case was found guilty in a trial Wednesday of two counts of touching and handling a child for lustful purposes. The crime was committed against two foster children placed in his care in January 2011. Both victims were males under the age of 18 when the crimes occurred.

Judge Strong sentenced Case to 15 years in the state penitentiary without the hope of early release on the first count of touching and handling a child for lustful purposes and 15 years on the second count of the same charge with 10 years suspended and five years to be served. Therefore, he will be serving a total of 20 years emprisonment on the two charges. He is to pay $4,000 restitution for each charge, $500 restitution to the district attorney’s office and $500 to the victims of crime fund.

He was found not guilty of sexual battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor at a Jan. 31 trial this year in a separate court case concerning the same two victims.

“These cases are despicable,” Bates said. “He actively sought to be a foster parent. He was on a committee for the prevention of sexual abuse. There have been several attempts on his part to manipulate the system. It is for these reasons that the state asks for the maximum penalty.”

In a phone interview Bates said Cases’ manipulation of the system was that Case had posed as a juvenile inside the victim’s family on Facebook in the time before his trial Wednesday and attempted to illicit information from another juvenile within the victim’s family. Bates also said Case used the juvenile’s identity to create letters that stated victims had fabricated the crimes against Case,

When the juvenile was questioned, he denied any knowledge of the letters or similar Facebook communications. The letters had been sent to different agencies such as the state attorney general’s office, to the department of human services and the district attorney’s office in Magnolia. In a lab analysis of the letter sent to the district attorney’s office they were unable to get a clear set of fingerprints.

“He tried to obstruct justice,” Bates said. Bates said he also felt that Case had manipulated the system to get juveniles in his home.

“In my opinion, Case was searching for juveniles with difficult life circumstances,” Bates said.

Cases’ mother, Patsy Case, spoke on his behalf Monday, voicing her concern that in the first trial she was able to be a witness on her son’s behalf and in the second trial was never called on by Case’s defense attorney Curt Crowley.

Strong replied to her, “that is trial strategy, Ms. Case, and not my business.” But, Patsy Case maintained that her son’s lawyer was simply trying to be done with them.

Strong replied, “Crowley’s strategy worked in the previous trial. You just got a different result this time.”

The elder Case asked for medical treatment for her son and for probation instead of jail time because, “He is the child I depend on for when I am ill.”

Before sentencing, Case requested a public defender to appeal his case and then requested and was denied to speak on the record in the judge’s chambers.