Artesia man charged for child molestation

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A months-long investigation leads to an Artesia man being arrested on child molestation charges.

A young girl’s quick thinking and courage to speak out helped Lowndes County Sheriff’s investigators make an arrest in a molestation case.

Deputies arrested 42-year-old Tom Leshun Walker of Artesia Friday, January 21st.

Walker is charged with 1 count of fondling a minor under the age of 16.

But the case began back in October.

Walker is accused of inviting the minor into his home in Artesia and touching her inappropriately.

The child managed to find her way out of the home and called 911 immediately.

Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins says alerting law enforcement as soon as possible is very important in cases like this, and gives them an edge in starting the investigation.

“We are thankful that she was able to escape and be able to get out and call 911 herself and it’s very brave of this young child to do this,” Hawkins said.

Sheriff Hawkins also tells parents to watch for different mood changes in their children and have a talk with them so they can avoid predators.

“Know where they’re at and know who they’re dealing with so that they aren’t put in these positions like this. if you notice something different about your child if their mood changes, ”Hawkins said.

Hawkins says many of these predators use Social Media to find potential victims.

He advises parents to monitor their children’s accounts and activities.

“We work these types of crimes all the time where we see people that are trolling the internet and looking through social media trying to identify these children and target these children,” Hawkins said.

Law enforcement asks that if you know or suspect a child that is a victim of a crime like this in the community to call 911 and they will follow up on the crime.

Walker’s bond is set for 100 thousand dollars.