Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Former Officer’s Slew of Charges in Georgia Related to a Series of Sexual Assaults

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 05, 2018 | 0 Comments

Former Officer for the Alabama Department of Corrections, Matthew Moore, has allegedly been identified through DNA evidence regarding a series of sexual assaults in Fulton County. Moore was arrested for charges of aggravated sodomy, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, two counts of aggravated assault, and false imprisonment.

According to reports, Fulton County is waiting on more DNA evidence from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation regarding cases going as far back as the last ten years.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I'd like to jump into the law regarding some of these charges. The charges that are usually the most confusing for people to understand are terms like “aggravated” in front of commonly-known offenses. Since Moore is facing both aggravated sodomy and aggravated assault, let's see how these two offenses differ from the base crimes of sodomy and assault.

Sodomy in Georgia

According to Georgia law, sodomy in Georgia is defined by O.C.G.A. §16-6-2(a) as:

“A person commits the offense of sodomy when he or she performs or submits to any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another.”

This law does not apply to consensual, private, non-commercial acts between legally consenting people. This is because it would infringe upon a constitutional provision guaranteeing Georgians the right to privacy. According to Mauk v. State (242 Ga. App. 191), the crime of sodomy does not apply to private activities conducted in private places where one is entitled reasonably to expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance. 

If convicted of sodomy, a person will be guilty of a felony and punished by a prison sentence between one to twenty years. However, if the victim is between 13 and 16 years of age and the person convicted of sodomy is 18 or younger and no more than 4 years older than the victim, the crime is knocked down to a misdemeanor conviction.

Aggravated Sodomy in Georgia

According to Georgia law, aggravated sodomy in Georgia is defined by O.C.G.A. §16-6-2(b) as:

“A person commits the offense of aggravated sodomy when he or she commits sodomy with force and against the will of the other person or when he or she commits sodomy with a person who is less than ten years of age.”

As you can see, the offense of aggravated sodomy is an elevated offense from the crime of sodomy.

If convicted of aggravated sodomy, a person will be guilty of a felony and punished by a prison sentence between twenty-five years and life. 

Assault in Georgia

According to Georgia law, assault in Georgia is defined by O.C.G.A. §16-5-20 as:

“A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either (1) attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or (2) commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.”

If convicted of assault, a person will be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by up to 12 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both.

Aggravated Assault in Georgia

According to Georgia law, aggravated assault in Georgia is defined by O.C.G.A. §16-5-21 as:

“A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults:

  • with intent to murder, to rape, or to rob;
  • with a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury;
  • with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation; or
  • a person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.”

Again, as you can see, the offense of aggravated assault is an elevated offense from the crime of assault.

If convicted of aggravated assault, a person will be guilty of a felony and punished by a prison sentence between one and twenty years.

Remember that no one should be assumed guilty just because he or she has been accused of committing a crime. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney 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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