Jury Convicts Former Nolanville Mayor in Child Sex Case
Former Nolanville mayor Charlie Lee Stewart has been declared guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
A jury convicted Stewart Wednesday after 36 minutes of deliberation. They’d heard two days of testimony by four past victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the defendant, with some allegations dating back to the late 1980's. His most recent known victim was 12 at the time she was abused. She wasn’t expected to testify when the trial began, but she did take the stand and detailed the repeated sexual abuse she experienced while living in the defendant’s Nolanville home in 2011.
Stewart was arrested in 2012 while still serving as mayor of Nolanville. Allegations of abuse emerged when the latest victim told her mother about the abuse. Other victims came forward during the course of the investigation, two of them relatives of Stewart. Steward took the stand Wednesday and denied any abuse. He claimed that a previous conviction in Mississippi of fondling a child was all a misunderstanding and that he’d pleaded no contest in order to make the situation go away.
Stewart’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 5. He faces anywhere from 25 years to life in prison with no possibility of parole.