According to reports last week out of Gwinnett County, a local man was convicted of child molestation and sentenced to fifteen years in prison for molesting a 13 year-old-girl three years ago.
He was arrested when the girl disclosed the incidents during a conversation about STDs with her mother. The man took care of the child when her mother was at work. He will serve fifteen years in prison, five years on probation, and be required to register as a sex offender with the Georgia Sex Offender Registry.
As a Georgia Sex Crimes Attorney, I will dive into the law behind the criminal offense of child molestation in today's post.
Child Molestation in Georgia
Georgia Law defines child molestation in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-6-4 as:
A person commits the offense of child molestation when the person either:
- 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.
A person convicted of child molestation will be guilty of a felony. For a first child molestation conviction, the accused will face a sentence of five to twenty years in prison. In addition, the Department of Corrections will provide counseling to the defendant.
For a subsequent conviction of child molestation, the punishment increases to a prison term between ten and thirty years or life in prison. Lastly, a conviction for child molestation comes with the requirement that the defendant register as a sex offender with the Georgia Sex Offender Registry. The designation of a person as a sex offender is not intended to be a punishment or a sentence but instead a regulatory mechanism resulting from the conviction of certain crimes.
Being accused of sex crimes in Georgia is a terrible experience. A sex crime conviction can result in serious, life-changing consequences.