(SHELBY COUNTY D.A. NEWS RELEASE) – A southwest Memphis man who pled guilty last month to hitting a young school girl with his car, then abducting and raping her, was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
Larry R. Ward, 23, who faced up to 71 years, was sentenced by Criminal Court Judge Jennifer Johnson Mitchell for rape of a child, especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault.
The incident occurred around 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, 2016, as an 11-year-old girl was walking near W. Shelby Drive and Horn Lake Road on her way to school. Ward struck her with his vehicle, forced her into his car and then drove her to a nearby area and sexually assaulted her in his car.
The girl was released and was treated at a hospital for cuts, bruises and a bruise on her head. She was able to give police descriptions of her assailant and his vehicle. At around 4 p.m. that same day, police located Ward in the 1000 block of West Raines driving a similar vehicle with damage to the front. The girl identified Ward as her attacker.
Ward has another rape case pending in which a 16-year-old girl was attacked at gunpoint on her way to school in the nearby area of Westwood Park. That incident occurred in October of 2016.
Both cases are being handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Devon Dennis of the DA’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) which prosecutes cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of child victims; rape and aggravated rape of adult victims, and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults.
SVU reviews child-victim cases with Shelby County’s multi-agency Child Protection Investigative Team.