COVINGTON, La. (WGNO) — After years of committing sexual abuse, a Slidell man has been found guilty of his crimes. On June 30, a St. Tammany Parish jury unanimously found 70-year-old James Bishop guilty as charged of first-degree rape of a child under the age thirteen, molestation of a juvenile (2 counts), production of pornography involving juveniles, and aggravated rape of a child under age thirteen.

Bishop faces life without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. He will be sentenced on July 19, 2022.

Records show that in September of 2018, a young female disclosed to her counselor that she’d be inappropriately touched by Bishop. The girl revealed details of the years of sexual abuse to the counselor, saying that her first memory of abuse was at the age of 7 when Bishop walked into her room naked and exposed his genitals to her.

The counselor alerted the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office and an investigation was opened. During the investigation, law enforcement seized Bishop’s digital devices and found Facetime calls and phone calls from Bishop to the victim that corroborated the victim’s story. From the report, “These included calls into the early morning hours asking the victim to call him and her return messages saying, “No! STOP!” One of these messages included a threat that’d he post naked photos of her onto Facebook if she didn’t further comply and show him via FaceTime her naked body parts.”

According to the District Attorney, during the investigation into Bishop’s digital devices, investigators discovered nude images and call records of a second victim, who was also a juvenile at the time. At trial, both victims testified to multiple years of abuse starting at the ages of 7 and 8. There was a third child who testified that the defendant had attempted uncomfortable behaviors with her but that things did not progress.

A report from the DA’s office says that at the end of the trial, Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Chkautovich addressed the jury and said, “these are the most difficult types of cases we have. They require that you, the jury, unequivocally believe the victims. If you think this is all an act, then the proper verdict is not guilty. But if you believe these girls, then this defendant is guilty. And that is what this case is about: whether or not you believe the victims.”

ADA Zachary Popovich said: “These victims had nothing to gain by coming forward. They have been called liars, have had their bodies and minds examined, told their stories to strangers, and are having their naked images shown in front of this courtroom. They gained nothing except that the abuse stopped. But in the end, they didn’t succumb but displayed grace, courage, dignity and told the truth.”

In closing, the State asked the jury to look at all the honest emotions, the corroborating evidence, the details, and consistencies when deciding whether the young women were lying. ADA Popovich concluded closing arguments by saying, “Jurors you can give the victims justice but indeed they will never have closure.”