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Crawford man guilty of child molestation


October 15, 2008
A Crawford County man charged with multiple counts of child molestation was convicted in a jury trial on Sept. 25.

Donald Andrew Pierce, 31, whose last known address was on Riddle Church Road in Crawford County, was arrested in early February of this year after an 11-year-old female acquaintance reported that Pierce had molested her.

"We actually filed the charges against him in June 2007," Crawford County Prosecutor Cheryl Hillenburg said, "but we didn't know where he was. We finally got him and had an initial hearing on Feb. 4."

At the time of his arrest, Pierce was booked on multiple Class A and one Class C felony child molestation charges.

"After he was arrested, the victim came forward and told about other incidents," Hillenburg said. "We then filed additional charges against him."

After the initial hearing, a trial date was set for Sept. 23, and it ran until Sept. 25, when it was turned over to the jury. The jury returned to the courtroom just a few hours later with a verdict of guilty on count 1, child molesting, a Class A felony; guilty on count 2, child molesting, a Class A felony; guilty on count 3, child molesting, a Class A felony; and guilty on count 4, child molesting, a Class C felony.

In an enhancement phase of the trial, the jury, after hearing evidence and arguments, began deliberations. In this phase, Pierce was charged with being a repeat sexual offender due to being convicted of child molesting in Harrison County in 1999. Pierce was sent to jail in 1999 for that offense and was released in 2001.

The Crawford County jury determined that Pierce had been convicted of child molestation in Harrison County before being charged with similar offenses in Crawford County, making him a repeat offender.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 14 in Crawford Circuit Court.

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