Jury: Parrish guilty

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A convicted child predator is now facing life in prison after a Covington County jury convicted him Friday night of molesting a girl over a six-year period.

It took an eight-man, four-woman jury only 45 minutes to find Perry Demon Parrish, 54, of Andalusia, guilty of 17 counts of charges including first-degree sodomy and sex abuse of a child under 12 after a two-day trial.

Reports indicate the abuse began in 2001 when the then-6-year-old victim’s mother began dating Parrish after the death of the girl’s natural father. The victim revealed the occurrences to her mother at age 12.

“Perry Parrish embodies every aspect of what a child sex predator is,” said District Attorney Greg Gambril, prosecutor for the state. “He was able to manipulate his way into this little girl’s mother’s life until he had the opportunity to start abusing this child, and he was at her every chance he got, even if the window of opportunity was only 10 minutes, he’d just come back later.”

Gambrill said the child kept quiet over the “six to seven year” period because of “threats (Parrish) made to her.

“The one that seemed to have the most impact on the child was when Mr. Parrish said that he would get in trouble, and that he would be sent away if she told anyone,” he said. “After seeing her natural father sent away and then having him die at such an early age, this little 6-year-old didn’t know what to do.  So she put up with this abuse year after year after year after year.

“(Parrish abused the child) so often, it was impossible (her) to pick out specific instances or give us a precise time line of what happened where, when and so forth,” he said. “She finally revealed what was happening when she was 12, but was only able to say what he did to her and that it happened every year, multiple times a week, in various locations around Andalusia, including two houses that she lived in over the years, his house and two work sheds that he rented, among other places.”

This is not Parrish’s first brush with the law concerning child sex crimes. In 1984, he was convicted of a child sex offense in Covington County and had been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. That conviction was reversed on a technicality by a federal court after he had served 10 years in prison.

After his release in 1993, the charges were reinstated; however, Parrish was convicted of a lesser sexual offense and given credit for time served.  Because of two other felony convictions, he now faces a minimum sentence of life imprisonment on each of the first-degree sodomy charges and the sexual abuse of a child under 12 charges. Gambril said for some of these crimes, Parrish will not be eligible for parole.

Sentencing is set before Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan April 7.

Parrish is currently being held without bond in the Covington County Jail.