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Jennings man convicted in rape of child

Posted at 2:27 PM, Feb 01, 2022

A Jennings man has been convicted in connection with the rape of a 10-year-old.

Jason Ray Craft, 41, was convicted of first-degree rape of a juvenile under the age of 13.

The trial began on Monday and ended on Thursday, said 31st District Attorney Elliott Cassidy.

Cassidy and ADA Stacey Naquin presented the case over three days and the jury deliberated about four hours before returning a guilty verdict, Cassidy says.

As we reported when he was arrested, the Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office investigated the case. They were called to a local hospital in July 2019 to investigate a complaint of child molestation, and a warrant was issued for Craft following an investigation.

Elliott said it was Sheriff's Detective Lisa Ivey who put in many hours of work to build the case, and added that new technology was used to present the case in the courtroom.

Cassidy also mentioned Kevin Millican, who was district attorney when he died last summer.

"Kevin wanted this case tried. He was very interested in getting this one in front of a jury," Elliott said. "I know he was watching over us the whole time."

Craft was remanded to the parish jail to await sentencing, which was set for February 14. A conviction of first-degree rape of a child younger than 13 carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole, probation or suspension of sentence.