Morris man convicted of rape

COLUMBIANA – A Morris man will spend the next two years on probation after he was recently convicted of Class B felony rape in the second degree.

Mark Daniel Sims, 44, who lists an address on Meadow Drive, pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to five years in prison, which was split with two years’ probation. The plea was reached after consultation and agreement between the victim and prosecutors.

Sims is required to fully comply with the requirements of the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. He was also ordered to pay $50 to the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund, a $525 bond fee and a $30 jail housing fee.

Sims was initially arrested and charged with second-degree rape on March 14, 2014. He was released from the Shelby County Jail on a $15,000 bond during the day of his arrest. Court documents did not disclose additional details regarding the nature of the crime.

According to a 2014 report from the North Jefferson News, Sims was the managing director of Ridout’s Gardendale Chapel funeral home at the time of his arrest.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Officer Debbie Sumrall said the victim was an acquaintance of Sims’, and the incident from which the rape charge stemmed took place at a Shelby County residence. Sumrall said another incident reportedly occurred at the funeral home. Representatives from Ridout’s Gardendale Chapel declined to comment on Sims’ conviction.