Prairieville man found guilty of molesting 10-year-old girl _lowres

Henry Lewis

An Ascension Parish jury found a Prairieville man guilty Friday afternoon of molestation of a 10-year-old girl nearly two years ago after prosecutors used DNA evidence against him, prosecutors said.

The unanimous jury found Henry Lewis, 45, guilty after less than an hour and a half of deliberation following three days of testimony and one day of jury selection, prosecutors with the 23rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Because of the girl’s age, Lewis faces between 25 and 99 years in prison.

Prosecutors claimed at trial that Lewis, who stands 6 feet 7 inches tall, used his position of influence and control over the juvenile to molest her between Sept. 28 and 30, 2013.

Lewis, 44286 La. 42, Prairieville, was arrested in January 2014.

Three DNA experts testified against Lewis during the trial at the Ascension Parish Courthouse Annex in Gonzales as prosecutors Joni M. Buquoi and Amy Colby brought to light that Lewis’ DNA was found on the girl’s training bra.

“The DNA experts were crucial with their testimony in securing Lewis’ guilty” verdict, prosecutors said in the news release.

The prosecutors accused Lewis of committing numerous lewd acts against the pre-teen girl.

Judge Jason Verdigets remanded Lewis to Parish Prison pending sentencing. A sentencing date will be set after an investigation has been completed.

Lewis’ prison future sentence will be without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender if he is ever released, prosecutors said.

Defense attorney J. Rodney Messina could not be reached for comment late Friday.