A Caddo Parish man convicted in February of a lewd act against a sleeping 10-year-old girl must serve four decades in prison.

Following a habitual offender hearing, Caddo District Judge Donald E. Hathaway Jr. determined that Joshua Lee Masters, 39, could be sentenced as a fourth felony offender, whose sentence could range from 25 to 50 years. Masters was sentenced to serve 40 years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. Upon his release, he also must register as a sex offender for life.

On February 7, a Caddo Parish Jury unanimously found Masters guilty of indecent behavior with a juvenile under age 13.

On September 28, 2021, Masters was found by his live-in girlfriend in the bedroom of her 10-year-old daughter, masturbating to the child's exposed rear-end. The child had taken melatonin to go to sleep that night and Masters had waited until the girl and her mother had fallen asleep before performing the lewd and lascivious act.

The child, her mother, and the investigating officer testified. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour before returning its verdict.

Masters, a registered sex offender, was previously convicted of rape by instrumentation on an unconscious victim from Bryan County, Oklahoma.

Masters was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Courtney N. Ray and Jason W. Waltman. He was defended by Elizabeth Gibson and Carter Lawrence.

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