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A 46-year-old Virginia man was ordered to a year in prison after admitting he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl last year after pinning her onto a bed "where she could not go anywhere."

Jason Higgenbottom, of Bluefield, Virginia, pleaded guilty this week to one count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, according to court minutes. Nine years of a 10-year prison term were suspended.

In the plea, Higgenbottom admitted to having sex with the girl on March 4, 2021, after forcibly pushing her onto a bed multiple times and getting on top of her "where she could not go anywhere."

Ascension Parish jail records say Higgenbottom was 5-foot-10 and 228 pounds at the time of his arrest by Gonzales police officers in March 2021.

Higgenbottom, of Bluefield, Virginia, had been set for trial Tuesday in 23rd Judicial District Court in Gonzales but accepted the plea deal with prosecutors in Ascension Parish instead, court minutes say.

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Judge Jason Verdigets also gave Higgenbottom three years supervised probation, required him to register as a sex offender for 15 years and not to contact the victim or her family.

Allen Davis, Higgenbottom's defense attorney, said Friday that under the sentence, if Higgenbottom runs afoul of his probation, he could face having to serve out the remainder of the suspended prison time.

He also pointed out that the victim and her mother were present in court for Higgenbottom's plea and that they had agreed to it. 

Prosecutors had also charged Higgenbottom with a count of battery of a dating partner in connection with the same March 2021 incident but dropped that charge on Tuesday. 

A spokesman for 23rd Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin did not return an email for comment this week.  


Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.