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Former Natchez police officer pleads guilty to contributing to neglect of child

NATCHEZ — A former Natchez police officer pleaded guilty Monday to the charge of contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a child.

Thaddeus Perry was terminated from his job at the police department Aug. 21, 2017, after he displayed a nude video of himself from the waist down to a 14-year-old female, said Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong last September after Perry was indicted by the grand jury.

The child’s mother reported that the incident occurred July 1, 2017, to the police department.

According to Mississippi Code 97-5-39(1)(d), anyone guilty of contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a child could be sentenced to the Department of Corrections for not more than five years or a maximum $5,000 fine.

The court sentenced Perry to five years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections but found “the defendant was low risk, nonviolent and a proper subject for placement in an intensive supervision program,” and he was placed under house aarrest for one year, unless terminated sooner for good cause by the court — and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and all court costs and fees. The court also ordered that Perry have no contact with the child or her family.

“We just cannot and will not have anybody out there with a gun and badge conducting themselves in such a manner that is inappropriate and, obviously, illegal,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong became the police chief while Perry was already on a disciplinary leave of absence, he said, and Armstrong did not know him personally. Armstrong moved to terminate Perry soon after becoming police chief.