Man pleads guilty to sexual abuse charge

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

A prior sex offender pleaded guilty to sexual abuse first degree on Monday.

Phillip Frederick Day, 45, of Selma, entered his plea just as attorneys were about to begin the jury selection process. &uot;We were going to strike the jury, and the defense wanted to sit down and talk,&uot; said Fourth Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Mitzi Johnson-Theodoro. &uot;They asked if we could begin the date of incarceration in April.&uot;

Day has been in a Bibb County federal penitentiary since his arrest in April.

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Day received a sentence of 15 years and one day, which was suspended. He will serve five years and have a five-year probation.

Johnson-Theodoro added that the victim’s mother wanted her daughter to avoid the trauma of testifying in court.

Law enforcement authorities returned Day to the Bibb County facility on Monday.

Fred McCormick, Day’s attorney, said he wasn’t pleased with the sentence, &uot;but it was a choice he had to make based on what he could get to what he got.&uot;

Monday’s plea wasn’t Day’s first conviction. He was convicted of oral copulation in California in 1992, which translates to sodomy first degree in Alabama, according to Johnson-Theodoro. In 2001 Day was convicted of receiving stolen property first degree in Dallas County.

Monday’s plea stems from an April incident. According to Johnson-Theodoro, Day was a neighbor and family friend of the victim’s family. &uot;The victim’s mother had no knowledge of the prior offense and was appalled upon its discovery,&uot; she said.

A few days before the incident Day removed his clothes while in the presence of the victim. The sexual abuse first degree charge occurred because of an action Day took while both were watching television.

Johnson-Theodoro said the victim was horrified, and returned to her mother after the incident. Her mother, thinking that her daughter had been misbehaving, said she would contact Day if she didn’t tell her what had happened. The victim then related the incident.