Walnut Grove Mayor Indicted
|FBI Jackson October 25, 2011|
William Grady Sims, mayor of Walnut Grove, Mississippi, appeared in federal court on October 25, 2011, pursuant to his indictment on color of law and other federal charges, announced Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Jackson Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and John Dowdy, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.
In November of 2009, Sims served as mayor of Walnut Grove and was also employed as warden of the Walnut Grove Transition Center, a secured facility housing inmates in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. On October 18, 2011, a federal grand jury indicted Sims for the alleged sexual assault of an inmate of the Walnut Grove Transition Center, while acting under color of law, willfully depriving the inmate of the right to be free from sexual abuse, in violation of Title 81, Section 242 of the United States Code.
Additionally, the indictment charges that, in March of 2010, Sims instructed the inmate to lie to investigators regarding the alleged sexual assault, with the intent to influence the inmate’s testimony in an official proceeding, namely, a federal grand jury proceeding, in violation of Title 18, Section 1512(b)(1) of the United States Code.
This indictment by the grand jury for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi is the result of a joint FBI and Leake County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Office investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hurst.
Following his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson at the United States Federal Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi, Sims was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. A trial date has been set for January 9, 2012.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.