On June 27, 2002, a Drew County jury of nine women and three men sentenced a Monticello man to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy. Now, nearly 15 years later, the man is facing similar charges in Ashley County.

Lewis Ray, 53, is being held on a $50,000 bond for allegedly raping an 18-year-old Ashley County man last month.

The 2002 Case

On December 7, 2001, Lewis Ray, then 39, and a male co-defendant, invited a 16-year-old Monticello boy, who was described as a “slow learner,” to spend the night at their home. The two men took the boy out to dinner and Christmas shopping, gave him marijuana and beer, then sexually assaulted him, according to the boy’s testimony at Ray’s June 2002 trial.

The Drew County jury subsequently convicted Ray and his co-defendant of first-degree sexual assault. To get the first-degree sexual assault conviction, the state had to prove the men engaged in deviate sexual activity with the boy and that they were in a position of authority or a temporary caretaker of the boy at the time the assault occurred.

Tenth Judicial District Deputy Prosecutor David Cason told the jury that Ray and his co-defendant became temporary caretakers of the boy when the boy’s parents allowed him to go with them. “The parents may not have used good judgment but you should focus on what’s important,” said Cason. “What’s important is what was done to (the boy) that night.”

Ray and his co-defendant testified they would be willing to participate in alcohol and sexual offender treatment.

“There’s no atheists in fox holes,” Cason told the 2002 jury. “Everyone seems to want rehabilitation when they get caught. If people who do what they did don’t deserve prison, then who does? They deserve 30 years for what they did.”

The Drew County jury deliberated just over an hour before recommending a 10-year sentence, rather than the maximum 30-year sentence Cason said they deserved.

In addition to the 10 year sentence and a $5,000 fine, Ray was ordered to register as sex offender.

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