Additional sex charges filed

Published 11:54 pm Monday, April 30, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell
A former Escambia County Middle School teacher could be facing a long time in prison.
A new indictment has levied more sex abuse-related charges against the man who already faces up to 31 years on a previous conviction. Victor LaBaron Payne was convicted March 15 on charges of second-degree rape, sexual abuse and enticing a minor for immoral purposes. The new charges filed by a second victim include rape, first degree; rape, second degree; sexual abuse, first degree; sexual abuse, second degree; and enticement of a child for immoral purposes.
The victim in the new case was a student at Escambia County Middle School in Atmore where Payne was a teacher when the alleged crimes occurred. In the March trial against Payne, the victim in the new case served as a witness in the first case against him.
"Sometimes he (Payne) would check me out of Mrs. Tucker's class," she testified during that trial. "Other times he would get me out of Coach Larkin's class. It was at different times when he would get me out."
According to the indictment documents, the victim was younger than 12 years old when the violations against her first began. The age of the victim at the time of the initial contact with Payne resulted in the rape, first degree and sexual abuse, first-degree charges. Rape, second degree and sexual abuse, second-degree charges were levied against Payne because the alleged sexual contact with the victim continued after her 12th birthday.
Those charges are that the crime was committed against a minor under the age of 16, but older than 12. The charge that Payne allegedly enticed the victim into the concession stand area of the school's gymnasium for the purpose of making sexual contact, brought the final charge against him. A third case against Payne on similar charges is pending.
Following the conclusion of the trial in March, Judge Bradley Byrne denied bail prior to sentencing in the case.
"Since his possible sentence could exceed 20 years, the law says I am not at liberty to offer a way for him to be released," Byrne said. "He will be remanded to the custody of the Escambia County Sheriff's Department."
Sentencing in the case is set for 9 a.m. May 23. Each of the three charges against Payne in the original case is classified as a Class B felony. Charges under the new indictment contain two Class A felonies and three Class B felonies.

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