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Two touching and handling cases concluded

Benjamin Nelson pleaded guilty to three counts of touching and handling a child for lustful purposes in an Aug. 1 hearing in Lincoln County Circuit Court.

Nelson was indicted on Feb. 26 for touching a child under the age of 16 for lustful purpose. The indictment alleged that Nelson had sexual relations with the child between Sept. 5 and Oct. 17. Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell said at the time that BPD received a call on Oct. 17 that Nelson was caught having sex with a 16-year-old. Nelson was 23 at the time.

Benjamin Nelson

Benjamin Nelson

According to a sentencing order signed by Circuit Court Judge David Strong, Nelson was sentenced to 10 years, with five years to serve and five years of post-release supervision. Nelson was also ordered to pay a fine of $3,000 in health care costs and $419.50 in court costs. Nelson must also avoid all contact with the victim during his post-release supervision.

The touching and handling case against Moncherik K. Hooks was dismissed in a Monday hearing after a motion by the district attorney’s office said that they were unwilling to pursue charges, citing in the motion that the alleged victim’s parents were not giving the cooperation necessary to prosecute the case.

The motion was filed on July 22, and the order was signed on Monday.

An indictment issued on July 15, 2015 alleged that Hooks had touched a 16-year-old girl for the purpose of gratifying his lust on a day between Nov. 1, 2014 and Jan. 21, 2015.