Abuse case widens

Published 4:01 pm Monday, April 30, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
A former Escambia County Middle School teacher could be spending the rest of his life in prison. A new indictment has levied more sex abuse-related charges against the man who already faces up to 31 years on a previous conviction.
Victor LaBaron Payne was convicted March 15 on charges of second-degree rape, sexual abuse and enticing a minor for immoral purposes.
The new charges filed by a second victim include rape, first degree; rape, second degree; sexual abuse, first degree; sexual abuse, second degree; and enticement of a child for immoral purposes.
Escambia County District Attorney Steve Billy said Payne would be up for a life in prison if he is convicted on the new charges.
Billy said the March trial was the first in what is now known to be three cases against Payne.
According to the indictment documents, the victim was younger than 12 years old when the violations against her first began. The age of the victim at the time of the initial contact with Payne resulted in the rape, first degree and sexual abuse, first-degree charges. Rape, second degree and sexual abuse, second degree charges were levied against Payne because the alleged sexual contact with the victim continued after her 12th birthday. Those charges are that the crime was committed against a minor under the age of 16 but older than 12.
The charge that Payne allegedly enticed the victim into the concession stand area of the school's gymnasium for the purpose of making sexual contact, brought the final charge against him.
Payne has been in custody at the Escambia County Detention Center since his March 15 conviction. He will remain in custody until sentencing. Sentencing in the first case is set for 9 a.m. May 23. A court date for the new case has not been set.

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