TUSCUMBIA — A Colbert County man accused of sexually abusing and sodomizing a girl pleaded guilty Wednesday and faces a 20-year prison sentence, courthouse officials said Thursday.
Colbert County District Attorney Bryce Graham Jr. said Michael Scott Meadows, 34, 1130 Milk Springs Road, Tuscumbia, pleaded guilty to first-degree sodomy. The sentence is part of the plea agreement.
First-degree sodomy is a Class A felony and is punishable by 10 years to life in prison.
Meadows was arrested in January after being indicted on charges of first-degree sodomy, second-degree sodomy, sexual abuse of a child under 12 and production of obscene material, courthouse officials said.
Assistant Colbert County District Attorney Angela Hulsey said the other charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Investigators said the sexual abuse began in 2008 when the girl was 8 years old and continued until 2011.
Meadows knows the girl’s family, authorities said.
Hulsey said the victim’s family approved the agreement so the girl would not be involved in a trial.
Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May said his office was contacted after the girl told a friend what happened and that information was passed on to family members, who notified authorities.
He said his office began investigating the allegations in late December.
“Once we completed the investigation, we turned the information over to the district attorney’s office and the case was presented to the grand jury,” May said.
Investigators said the girl reported that Meadows had sexual encounters with her on several occasions. She reported those took place at her house when her mother was not at home and sometimes in his car.
Statistics from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network indicate it is common for victims of rape, sexual abuse and sodomy to know their attackers.
The national network report points out that 73 percent of all sexual assaults are committed by a non-stranger and 38 percent were committed by a friend or acquaintance.
The report adds 15 percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.