George Co. man sentenced for explicit text messages to teens

Published 7:44 pm Friday, November 3, 2006

A 44-year-old George County man has been given a 10-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of exploitation of a child.

Circuit Judge Dale Harkey on Wednesday ordered Timothy J. Hempstead, 44, to serve three years probation. Harkey said Hempstead is to not have any further contact with the victims and must register as a sex offender.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence had recommended the sentence.

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Hempstead was arrested after parents of two teenage girls contacted the sheriff’s office in January. The complaints charged that both girls were receiving obscene and sexually related telephone calls and phone text messages.

Hempstead told Harkey that the contacts began innocently and were initiated by the girls. He said he was playing a game.

Lawrence said both girls were undergoing counseling and that one girl was taking prescription antidepressant medication.

“Because there were no physical contact allegations and the victims wish get this behind them, Hempstead will have three years of strict probation and have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. The victims and I think this is sufficient punishment,” Lawrence said.

The maximum penalty could have been as much as 40 years in prison on each count.