Columbus man loses appeal of child exploitation conviction

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The state Court of Appeals has refused to overturn the conviction of a Columbus man for child exploitation overturned.

Prosecutors say Tommie Harris was arrested and charged after he sent text sexually suggestive messages to a teenage girl. Court records show the girl showed them to her mother and another woman who called authorities.

A Lowndes County jury convicted Harris in 2011 and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison with five years’ probation. He was ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release.

Harris claims the text messages alone were not enough to convict him.

In the ruling Tuesday, the Appeals Court says state law only requires solicitation, not physical contact, for the child exploitation charge to be filed.

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