By Associated Press - Saturday, May 1, 2021

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A former Mississippi police officer has been sentenced to prison for destroying evidence of his involvement with a 16-year-old, federal prosecutors Friday.

The Clarion Ledger reported that U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee sentenced former Jackson police officer Mark Anthony Coleman, 58, to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Coleman used a cellphone to attempt to coerce a child younger than 18 to meet with him “for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” according to court records. Prosecutors say he later destroyed evidence of his involvement with the teen, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Jackson Police Department put Coleman on administrative leave in May 2020 for conduct unbecoming of an officer. A federal grand jury indicted him in July, and he pleaded guilty in January.

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