Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Closer Look at Child Molestation Offenses in Georgia After Recent Case

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

A 14 year old boy was arrested yesterday on charges of aggravated child molestation. He allegedly sexually molested a minor girl in Hall County. In Georgia, there is child molestation and aggravated child molestation. Today, I'd like to analyze the differences so as to better understand what exactly this young boy is accused of doing. 

Child Molestation in Georgia

According to Georgia law, someone commits the act of child molestation in Georgia when he or she “does any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person; or by means of an electronic device, transmits images of a person engaging in, inducing, or otherwise participating in any immoral or indecent act to a child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person” (O.C.G.A. §16-6-4(a)1-2)). 

To be convicted of child molestation, the state of Georgia must show that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by demonstrating that an immoral or indecent act was committed by said person to a child under the age of 16 years old. A conviction of child molestation is a felony, and the penalties include five to twenty years in prison as well as counseling from the Department of Corrections. For a second conviction of child molestation, the penalty includes ten to thirty years in prison or a life sentence. 

However, if the victim is between 14-16 years old, and the convicted person is younger than 18 and no more than 4 years apart from the victim, then the crime will be considered a misdemeanor. 

Aggravated Child Molestation in Georgia 

According to Georgia law, someone commits the act of aggravated child molestation when he or she “commits an offense of child molestation which act physically injures the child or involves an act of sodomy” (O.C.G.A. §16-6-4(c)). 

So according to the reports, the 14 year old Hall County boy is being accused of child molestation in which he either physically hurt or sodomized the young girl.

Again, to be convicted of aggravated child molestation, the state of Georgia must show that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by demonstrating that an immoral or indecent act was committed by said person to a child under the age of 16 years old - except with the addition of a physical injury or the act of sodomy.  A conviction of aggravated child molestation is a felony, and the penalties include a life sentence in prison or a split sentence of a minimum of 25 years in prison followed by probation for life. 

However, if the victim is between 13-16 years old, and the convicted person is younger than 18 and no more than 4 years apart from the victim, and the basis of the aggravated child molestation charge is the act of sodomy, then the crime is considered a misdemeanor. 

Lastly, a conviction for either of these charges requires that the defendant register as a sex offender. However, the only way the 14 year old Hall County boy will be required to register as a sex offender in Georgia is if he is "tried and convicted as an adult" (O.C.G.A. §42-1-12). 

Sex crimes are highly stigmatized and being wrongfully accused or charged is a devastating experience. Most people do not receive a fair chance because they are viewed as guilty from the very beginning. Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers know that no one is guilty just because he or she has been accused of a crime and want to make sure you receive a fair trial. Contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He exclusively handles DUI Cases. As a former DUI Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. You only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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