A DeFuniak Springs man was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison for two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation.

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — A local man was sentenced to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison for two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation.


According to a press release from the State Attorney’s Office, Ronald Reed Norris, a 51-year-old DeFuniak Springs resident, was arrested on March 15 after his girlfriend gave the Walton County Sheriff’s Office a video of Norris acting suspiciously in her two young children’s room.


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The release said that she told WCSO that Norris seemed to show a special interest in her younger children, but not her older children. Concerned, she hid a cell phone in her children’s bedroom to record any interactions between them and Norris.


The children were then taken to the Children’s Advocacy Center where forensic interviewers discovered that the defendant was molesting them.


Based on that information, WCSO used a search warrant to collect various items that the children had described during the interview as being used during the crime, the release said.


The State Attorney’s Office said that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was able to conclusively determine that the child’s DNA was on at least one of the items collected.


Norris was convicted following a joint effort from the State Attorney’s Office, the Children’s Advocacy Center, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.