A Pontotoc County man is set to appear in District Court Sept. 7 on charges of lewd molestation and possession of child pornography. The charges stem from allegations the man abused a child for up to seven years, sometimes recording the abuse.
Bill Ray Pendleton, 73, was arrested Aug. 23 and released from the Pontotoc County Justice Center Aug. 25 on a $250,000 bond with orders to have no contact with the child.
Records provided by the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office indicate deputies were summoned to Roff Public Schools Aug. 9, after a child expressed concern about going home. Deputies report the child informed them they had been molested for a number of years by “an old man that lived down the road.” In a subsequent interview, records indicate the child conveyed graphic details of ongoing abuse by Pendleton, who the child described as a family friend.
Acting on information obtained during interviews with the child, deputies obtained a warrant for Pendleton’s arrest and a search warrant for his home. Deputies executed the search warrant Aug. 23.
Records indicate Pendleton confessed to possessing “about a half a dozen” videos on disks, tapes and a computer inside the home. Deputies indicate Pendleton confessed to taking “videos of (the child) while (they) were naked multiple times,” and to taking videos of another child, but he could not remember the other child’s name.
Deputies reported viewing four of the tapes taken as evidence during their search, tapes deputies said contained “very obscene and disturbing videos of a very young (child) in the nude.”
Deputies reported taking up to 114 items “that could possibly hold child pornography” as evidence during their search of Pendleton’s home.