Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said he was relieved Wednesday to find out parole had been denied for a local sex offender.

The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles denied parole for Tanya Lynn Wiginton, who had been convicted of second-degree rape in 2016, according to a release from the parole board.

The crime involved a 14-year-old victim.

Rushing said the board notified him of the decision. It means Wiginton will complete her sentence in prison.

"That's who prisons are made for, in my opinion, is those who offend against children and commit a sex crime," Rushing said.

Wiginton was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy who was a family friend. Investigators said the relationship allegedly had been going on for about three months.

Wiginton was indicted in April 2016 on 10 counts of second-degree rape. She pleaded guilty to one count, according to court records.

In December 2016, Wiginton was sentenced to seven years in prison on a conviction of second-degree rape. The sentence was split to time served, and she was placed on probation. She had served two years in jail at the time.

She was placed back into custody in 2018 because she failed to register and did not let her probation officer know where she was living, authorities said.

Rushing said he sent letters to the state attorney general's office opposing Wiginton's parole. In addition, representatives of Victims of Crime and Leniency appeared at the hearing to oppose her release.

"It's a priority to try to keep sex offenders in prison as long as possible," he said. "As a rule, they have a propensity to re-offend more than others. That's why they have to register."

Second-degree rape is a Class B felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison, according to the Code of Alabama.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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