A North Carolina man will almost certainly die in prison after being convicted of child sex trafficking in a disturbing case that spanned years and involved a second defendant linked to the victim.
Jimmy Jamison, 55, was found guilty of three counts of child trafficking, three counts of statutory rape and two counts of statutory sexual offense by jurors in Tar Heel State last week, District Attorney R. Andrew Murray announced, according to various local media. The defendant was later sentenced to at least 241 years behind bars – with a maximum sentence of 330 years.
According to documents cited by WLOS, an ABC affiliate based in Asheville, the victim, who is not named, moved to Rutherford County to live with his third cousin, Lee Ann Zimmerman, 55, when she was 13 years old. When the girl turned 14, Zimmerman took her cousin with her when she often traveled to “various locations in Henderson County to purchase illegal narcotics,” the prosecutor’s office said.
During one of these visits, the victim met her possible sex trafficker.
Jamison developed an interest in the child and began texting Zimmerman and telling him he wanted to have sex with the victim, court records cited by the Hendersonville Lightning showed.
When Jamison learned the girl was underage, he continued to text Zimmerman and said he still wanted to have sex with the girl. He began “offering the child marijuana and money if she had sex with him,” the prosecutor’s press release reportedly said.
Finally, the accused had access to the girl on numerous occasions between the fall of 2019 and March 2020.
On those occasions, according to court records, Zimmerman drove the girl from Rutherford County to Henderson County. The much older driver was supplied with drugs while the young girl was left alone with her rapist. The DA’s press release reportedly said the eldest third cousin took the girl with her “several times to be supplied with illegal narcotics, where the defendant, Jimmy Jamison, was granted unsupervised access to the victim.” .
Jamison committed numerous sex crimes against the girl at her home in Henderson County’s Dana community, authorities say. The abuse also happened at a motel in Hendersonville, North Carolina, located about a half-hour south of Asheville by car.
Investigators learned of the sex trafficking arrangement after the victim told her half-sister who alerted authorities in April 2020, Spartanburg, South Carolina-based CBS affiliate WSPA reported. .
Zimmerman previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit human trafficking and testified against Jamison at his trial. On Monday, she was sentenced between 9 and 16 years in state prison for her role in the abuse of the girl.
Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]