Jury acquits man of enticing child

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Covington County jury found a Gantt man not guilty of child enticement last Friday,

Don Earl Skipper was indicted by a grand jury in December 2010 because of an alleged incident, which occurred in September 2009. The incident involved an 11-year-old girl, according to Star-News archives.

Skipper was charged with one count of enticing a child for immoral purposes.

A jury of eight women and four men acquitted Skipper of the charges.

“Mr. Skipper and I were elated by the verdict,” Skipper’s attorney, J. Carlton Taylor, said. “It is so difficult to defend cases where you know in your heart your client is innocent, and that the allegations against him are false.”

The trial lasted two days, including jury selection. The defense and prosecution called five witnesses each and no experts.

Taylor said the defense believes the case was won because of the “inconsistent testimony” of the alleged victim, “and her corroboration witnesses and the inconsistent actions of the alleged victim, which were not the conduct one would expect from a true victim.”

0325 CCSO-donnie skipperTaylor said the jury should be applauded for all of its work in this case.

Covington County Chief Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter said the victim in this case showed a lot of courage.

“Child molestation depends on secrecy, and all too often, there is no medical evidence left behind and no one who saw what happened,” Jeter said. “It takes extraordinary bravery for a child to disclose abuse. It is incumbent upon us — the people who work with these children — to turn over every stone, to utilize forensic interviews, and to search for evidence that corroborates or disproves the child’s account.

“Taking care of the children is always our primary goal,” she said. “I am immensely proud of this child, not only because of her courage but because of the remarkable and resilient young lady she is.”