Child rapist gets 2 life sentences; family member sent to jail for outburst

Published 3:48 pm Friday, February 22, 2013

An Opp man convicted in January of the rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of child under 12 will now spend the rest of his life in prison.

Circuit Judge Lex Short sentenced Jonathan Coon Thursday afternoon to two life sentences and a 20 year sentence for the 2010 incident in which a girl, then 11, testified that Coon raped her in the back of his Bronco when she and a friend went mud-riding with him. The victim testified that the friend was asleep in the front seat when the attack occurred.



When Short handed down the sentence, Coon’s family expressed their disbelief. In previous court proceedings, family members were warned against outbursts. When Short pronounced sentencing, one family member shouted, “No,” and was arrested for contempt.

The jury convicted Coon after hearing a taped confession where Coon stated that he got in the back seat of his Bronco with the victim, touched her inappropriately, and engaged in intercourse.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter, who prosecuted the case, said Friday, “It took an enormous amount of courage for this child to stand up to the man who had raped her and testify in open court. Child predators hope that their crimes never come to light, or that, if they do, no one will believe the word of a child. Prison is the only place for anyone who hurts a child.”

Jeter said since the victim was under the age of 12, Coon is ineligible for parole.

Short also ordered Coon to pay $15,000 in fines and a $1,000 assessment to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund.