Sibley man arrested for aggravated rape of a juvenile

April 27, 2010—Sibley, La.—Webster Parish Sheriff's authorities took into custody Monday night a man who turned himself in for sexually abusing a juvenile girl.

James Reuben Phillips, II, 36, of Miller Briarwood Road in Sibley arrived at the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office with an unsolicited confession of a two-year stint during which he carried out forced sexual acts with a young girl from the time she was eleven years of age.

"It was an unusual confession," said Sheriff's criminal investigations supervisor Major Steve Cropper. "In this case we had the confession of a perpetrator; but no victim.  So this investigation began differently."

Following verification of certain details in his confession, Sheriff's Lt. Angela Evans formally charged Phillips with aggravated rape of a child under thirteen years of age.  He was then transported for booking to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

"This investigation is still ongoing," said Cropper.  "And it's likely that more charges will follow."

Phillips reportedly turned himself in after his young victim divulged her experiences of abuse to her church youth pastor and mother.

"I continue to be astonished each time a case of such nature surfaces," said Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton.  "This is another grave reminder of the vital importance in talking to our kids, educating the public and maintaining relationships with our youth to prevent and identify cases of abuse."

As investigators dive deeper into this long-term case of sexual abuse to determine whether or not additional charges are necessary, Phillips faces the reality of the seriousness of his charge of aggravated rape, which can carry the death penalty in Louisiana.