Mississippi city parks service accused of covering up child sex crimes involving an employee
Ex-Hernando, Mississippi parks employee James Richardson's mugshot following his arrest for enticement of a child to meet for sexual purposes. Image via DeSoto County.

The Hernando, Mississippi Parks Service has been accused of covering up child sex crimes involving an employee after a former staffer was arrested for attempts to entice minors.


Memphis' Local 24 news reported that several Hernando City Parks and Recreation supervisors have been suspended after the arrest of former parks employee James Michael Richardson.

Hernando police said they got a tip that Richardson had been sending inappropriate text messages to at least two children in attempts to get them to have sex with him.

"There were text messages, sexting and texting pictures," Hernando Police Capt. Kyle Hodge told Memphis' WREG. "The conversation as a whole was that he victimized these juveniles."

Richardson was with the parks department for more than a decade and reportedly knew the children for two years prior to when he began sending them explicit messages.

In the wake of the former employee's arrest, Local 24 learned that a number of supervisors were under investigation "for their alleged cover-up of incidents involving children."

Capt. Hodge didn't provide the names of the people under investigation, but said he believes there are more victims.

"There will be additional charges. We're pretty confident in that," he told Local 24. "And even in outside jurisdictions there will probably be some charges."

Richardson was released on a $55,000 bond.