Former Lamar Co. teacher sentenced to three years in prison for statutory rape

By HASKEL BURNS,

The former Lamar County School District teacher who recently pleaded guilty to statutory rape has been sentenced to a total of seven years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, including three years in prison.

On Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Prentiss G. Harrell sentenced 40-year-old Jenny Christine Hipp to three years in custody of the MDOC and four years on post-release supervision. She also must pay a fine of $2,500, along with all court costs.

Hipp will be given credit for time served in the county jail, and will be required to register as a sex offender with the appropriate agency.

Hipp, who had served as a speech-language pathologist with the district since 2014, was arrested in June 2017 by Jones County authorities on a warrant from Lamar County. Her indictment states Hipp – who was 39 at the time of the offense – willfully engaged in sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old male.

She entered her guilty plea Nov. 12 in circuit court.

Per terms of her post-release supervision, Hipp must remain within a specified area; abide by a curfew of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless work requires otherwise; and participate in any recognized program recommended by her field officer, among other stipulations.

In a statement issued shortly after Hipp’s arrest, Lamar County School District Superintendent Tess Smith said Hipp had been fired from her position at the district.

“I received a complaint on Thursday, June 15 (2017) and began an immediate investigation,” Smith said. “When I received information Wednesday regarding possible criminal behavior, I contacted the Lamar County District Attorney’s office.

“The employee has been terminated. We are cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation.”

Hipp is represented by Hattiesburg attorney Tangi A. Carter.