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Halifax man pleads to sexual abuse of a child

A 40-year-old Halifax man, Michael Thomas Epps, pleaded guilty Monday in Halifax County Circuit Court to four counts for the sexual abuse of a child less than 13-years-old.

Pursuant to a plea agreement with the commonwealth, the court sentenced Epps to 20 years in prison for each of the charges, with all suspended but three years and nine months for each for a total of 15 years.

The court ordered the suspended portion of Epps’ sentence be conditioned on his good behavior for 80 years, and it ordered Epps to have no contact whatsoever with his victims unless they request contact.

The court additionally ordered Epps to register as a sex offender.

In January of 2011, a Halifax County grand jury returned indictments against Epps for 107 related sex charges, including those for sodomy and taking indecent liberties with a minor, according to court records.

Included in initial charges against Epps were those for incest with a child or grandchild and forcible rape.

As part of the plea agreement, the commonwealth moved to nol pros all but four charges for sexual abuse of a child less than 13-years-old.

Authorities initially said the offenses for which Epps was charged occurred in a period from July 1, 2005 to Sept. 1, 2010.

 

Other court case

Maurice Hankins, 17, of Vernon Hill, was tried as an adult and pleaded guilty in circuit court Monday to six counts of sodomy of a victim less than 13-years-old, according to court records.

The defendant is housed at W.W. Moore Detention Center until sentencing set for the July court term.