Molestation Charges

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 3, 2010


Sardis man faces molestation charges

By Jason C. Mattox and Billy Davis

A nine-month investigation by authorities resulted in a Sardis man being charged with three counts of child molestation – with the possibility of additional charges being filed in coming days.

The investigation began when authorities learned that Michael C. Saripkin had two minor boys living in his East Lee Street home, said Panola sheriff’s investigator Mark Whitten.

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Saripkin, 51, is a twice-convicted sex offender.

He has two prior convictions for statutory rape in Madison, Tennessee, in 1997 and 1998.

He was sentenced to four years on one count and three on the other. Saripkin was released from prison in 2002.

A single conviction for child molestation carries up to 15 years in prison.

Saripkin has been denied bond because he is a previous offender.

Whitten said charges filed so far allegedly occurred when the two boys were 16 and 17 years old.

Whitten said Saripkin has hired an attorney but did not know a name because the suspect has refused to talk to investigators.

Saripkin contacted The Panolian in recent weeks and described an ongoing dispute with the North Panola School District. He said he was attempting to register a male teenager, who lived in his home, at North Panola High.

Panola sheriff’s deputies and investigators, armed with warrants, arrested Saripkin Wednesday morning and searched his home.

Whitten said law enforcement officials gathered numerous items but have not had time to examine the items that were seized.

He did not say what items were taken, citing the ongoing investigation.