3OYS investigation reveals accused killer of Celeste McDonald served time for sex crime conviction

Family maintains McDonald was killed by the man she tried to press rape charges against

3OYS investigation reveals accused killer of Celeste McDonald served time for sex crime conviction

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Out-of-state court documents show the man charged with killing Scott County resident Celeste McDonald in Jackson earlier this year has a criminal past that includes a sex crime conviction.

An analysis of Mississippi’s sex offender registry shows Ryan Christopher Hopkins listed for a 2008 conviction that took place in Polk County, Iowa.

Iowa trial court records indicate Hopkins pleaded guilty one count of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse and one count of willful injury, with two other charges dismissed because of a plea deal.

McDonald’s friends and family tell us she went to Jackson police to press rape charges against that same man days before her body was found in Mound, La., on April 1.

Despite her report to JPD detectives -- confirmed by the department last month -- no law enforcement agency has charged Hopkins with sexual assault in that case.

JPD Sgt. Roderick Holmes told us he didn’t even know who McDonald had filed charges against because that information was not readily available to him.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Capt. Johnny Poulos said the homicide, not the rape allegation, is being investigated by that agency.

Holmes told 3 On your Side last week that the police department is not actively investigating the case, though it’s not clear if that means the case has been closed.

Hopkins served more than 300 days behind bars in the Iowa correctional system, according to Iowa state filings.

Additional case entries indicate he also violated his parole in 2012, but the information does not indicate what he did.

That charge was later withdrawn.

At this point in the investigation, Hopkins has not been charged with any sexual crime in McDonald’s case.

However, if JPD detectives had pursued this when McDonald went to the department, they would have likely seen his criminal history with two felony charges and sex offender status.

It’s not clear based on the limited information provided by the department if those officers ever did.

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.