Randy Mitchell Special Correspondent
Two men have been arrested in separate cases on suspicion of committing sexual crimes against children. Both the alleged victims are under age 12.
Arrested were 51-year-old Lawrence Tucker of Ada, and 33-year-old Joshua Dartanion Hamburger of Roff. Hamburger was formally charged Friday in Pontotoc County District Court with felony sodomy of a victim under the age of 16.
Officials with the Pontotoc County district attorney’s office said they were awaiting a follow-up report from law enforcement before making a formal charging decision in Tucker’s case.
Tucker was arrested Feb. 20 on suspicion of first-degree rape after the victim told a relative about the alleged crimes. The child’s relative took her to the hospital, where the family spoke with deputies. The victim said incidents of rape had been occurring since the summer of 2013, according to a report filed by Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Hurley.
A forensic interview was conducted the following day at Ada CARE Cottage in which the child said she had been raped on several occasions. Tucker has denied the allegations.
Hamburger was arrested Saturday after a child alerted relatives to the alleged sexual abuse. The child told relatives that the alleged incident occurred three years prior.
Hamburger was out on bail after being arrested and charged with child abuse by injury in November 2013, when the allegations surfaced.
In 2006, at age 26, Hamburger pleaded no contest to the second-degree rape of a 16-year-old girl and was given a five-year suspended sentence. Hamburger and the girl had a baby as a result of their relationship.
Hamburger’s sentence was partly influenced by the teen’s father, who told District Attorney Chris Ross, “It would do no good for him to serve time; he needs to support his child.”
Hamburger is being held on $100,000 bond, while Tucker is being held on $250,000 bond.