JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned a decision that allowed a former police officer not to register as a sex offender after he was convicted of having sex with a woman on probation under the state’s supervision.
Justin Codey Herrington was convicted in August 2016 of having a consensual sexual relationship with a probationer under the Mississippi Department of Corrections supervision while he was a Columbia police officer.
He resigned from the department in July 2014 and was later sentenced to five years in prison with two years to serve.
Herrington was ordered to register as a sex offender since the woman was a person under “correctional supervision” but he later filed a motion to drop the registration requirement, arguing that the woman was not a prisoner.
A trial court granted the motion in December 2018.
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety appealed the motion in January 2019, stating the woman was an offender under state law regardless of whether she was incarcerated or under probation.
The agency also argued that those in a similar situation as the woman have a right to be warned about Herrington through the public registration.
The Supreme Court sided with the agency Thursday and reversed the decision. Herrington will have to register as a sex offender. It’s unclear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.