Madisonville man found guilty of raping 4-year-old boy _lowres

James Eley

James Eley, 33, of Madisonville, was found guilty Thursday of raping a child who was 4 years old at the time. The jury returned the verdict on the child’s eighth birthday.

Lisa Page, a spokeswoman for 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery, said the boy was not present in the courtroom when the verdict was returned. When the child took the stand Wednesday, he testified that he did not remember anything unusual happening to him when he was 4.

But the child’s mother testified that her child disappeared in April 2012 while she was cooking outdoors. As she searched for him, she said, she saw him leaving a neighbor’s home and Eley, who had been staying there, following him.

She testified that her son told her Eley had touched his penis and put it in his mouth, Page said. He gave a similar account on video to a specialist at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Covington and a specially trained pediatrician at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, Page said.

“I’m glad (the victim) doesn’t remember,” Assistant District Attorney Jay Adair told the jury during closing arguments. He and Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Kilian, a new staff attorney, prosecuted the case.

The jury deliberated for 90 minutes before returning the guilty verdict on a charge of aggravated rape. Eley, who faces up to life in prison, will be sentenced by Judge Allison Penzato on Sept. 28.

Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.