Former HMS janitor pleads guilty to enticing a child for immoral purposes

Published 4:51 pm Friday, April 11, 2014

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

A former Hayneville Middle School janitor who was indicted on charges of sexual abuse second degree, enticing a child and sexual contact with a student has pleaded guilty to enticing a child for immoral purposes.

Lee Andrew Saffold, 47, of Hayneville had been scheduled to be tried in the April 7 term of court in Lowndes County, but entered a plea of guilty on Friday, April 4 in Butler County, according Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte M. Tesmer.

Email newsletter signup

She said, “The victim’s family approved the plea.”

According to Lowndes County Circuit Court Ruby Jones-Thomas, Saffold’s plea agreement is for a 10-year reverse split sentence to serve three years on probation and 24 months in a penitentiary.

She said it also includes that Saffold submit to mental evaluation and treatment as directed by the Department of Mental Health, pay court cost, a fine of $500, $100 to crime victims and pay a bail bond fee of $350.

Tesmer said the victim’s family was strong on Saffold getting mental health treatment. She if he does what he is required to do, “He probably will most likely not go to the penitentiary.”

Tesmer said the plea was discussed with the victim’s family, who felt it was the best thing to do with the child not having to testify and the aspect of Saffold “pleading guilty and admitting to what he did.”

She said the Saffold trial would have been held in Lowndes County, but when a motion to video the alleged scene at HMS by defense counsel Mickey McDermott was denied, Saffold indicated he wanted to plead.

She said he waived being in Lowndes County and pleaded earlier in Butler County.

Saffold was indicted by a Lowndes County grand jury on the charges of sexual abuse second degree, enticing a child and sexual contact with a student and had previously waived the right to an arraignment and pleaded not guilty.

Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell said Saffold was arrested on Oct. 24 for an alleged incident that occurred at Hayneville Middle School on Sept. 30 following a report by school officials to the Department of Human Resources.