• Former Hernando employee charged with sex crimes involving children

    By: Tom Dees

    Updated:

    HERNANDO, Miss. - A former City of Hernando employee is charged with sex crimes involving a child.

    James Michael Richardson was arrested on August 9. He is charged with Enticement of a Child to Meet for Sexual Purposes and Contempt of Court.


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    He was released on a $51,000 bond on August 10. FOX13 has learned Richardson was employed in the city’s Parks Department as a contract employee. 

    Documents from a July 2016 Mayor and Board of Alderman meeting show the board voted unanimously in favor of hiring Richardson to a supervisor role within the Parks Department.

    In June 2017, the board approved a performance based raise for Richardson, according to city documents.

    It is unclear when he stopped working for the Parks Department.

    FOX13’s Tom Dees spoke with Hernando police chief and an investigator. When asked what kind of contact Richardson had with the alleged victim(s), the chief said is involved electronic communication and pictures.

    Police Chief Scott Worsham told FOX13 Richardson allegedly sent photos and text messages to entice the child, but the chief could not go into detail because the investigation is ongoing. 

    Lacy Johnson is a Hernando mother of a 10-year-old. Johnson said, "I couldn't. No... That’s scary... people are supposed to be protecting our kids not doing something to harm them in any way." 

    FOX13 has learned Richardson was not an employee of the city when he allegedly tried to entice the child. 

    That incident happened almost a month after his contract with the city expired.

    We spoke with the Mayor and questioned him about the charges, he said he couldn't speak about it because it is a personnel issue.

    FOX13 also reached out to the Parks Department, but they also refused to comment.

    "Yeah he should be locked away for a very long time… I would lose it if that was my 10-year-old, " Johnson said.

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