Bill Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, announced today that 69-year-old Leon Harrison Willis entered a plea of No Contest on August 9, 2016, to two counts of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation of a victim less than 12 years of age. He was immediately sentenced to a minimum mandatory term of 25 years in the Department of Corrections which must be served day-for-day. He will not be eligible for early release. Upon the completion of the 25 years, he will be on Sex Offender probation for the rest of his life and will be required to wear an electronic monitor. He was also designated as a Sexual Predator and can have no contact with the victim or any minors.
The defendant was charged after the 7-year-old victim disclosed to her parents that the defendant touched her inappropriately. The parents reported the disclosure to law enforcement and an investigation was initiated. The defendant admitted to some of the allegations made by the victim but claimed that the child victim initiated the acts.
The investigation was conducted by the Fort Walton Beach Police Department and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center and Assistant State Attorney Jennifer A. Lieb prosecuted the case.