Erick Tinoco-Jiminez, a 30-year-old man in Henry County, was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 5 years of probation after pleading guilty to inappropriately and sexually touching two young girls in Stockbridge.
According to reports, the girls' mother did not learn about the incidents involving Tinoco-Jiminez until 2017, and she immediately reported the abuse to Henry County police. The mother stated that Tinoco-Jiminez had molested the two girls between the years of 2012 and 2013 when the girls were between three and seven years old.
District Attorney for Henry County, Darius Pattillo stated in regards to the result of the case, ““This outcome brings justice to this family. These children suffered tremendously and their family was pleased that the defendant was held accountable for his actions and the girls did not have to testify at trial.”
Although Tinoco-Jiminez pleaded guilty to the charges, there are instances where individuals are accused and arrested for the wrong reason. As a Georgia Sex Crimes Attorney, I will outline the law behind the charge that Tinoco-Jiminez was convicted of in today's post as well as the applicable legal defenses if the situation of a wrongful accusation does occur.
Child Molestation in Georgia
Child Molestation in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4 which states that:
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
Child molestation is classified as a felony. For a first child molestation conviction, the penalty includes a sentence of five to twenty years in prison. In addition, the Department of Corrections will provide counseling to the defendant. For a second or subsequent conviction of child molestation, the penalty increases to a prison term between ten and thirty years or life in prison.
However, if the victim is between the ages of 14 and 16 years old and the person convicted of child molestation is 18 years or younger and no more than four years older than the victim, then the crime will be charged as a misdemeanor.
Moreover, as with most sex crimes in Georgia, a conviction for child molestation comes with the requirement that the defendant register as a sex offender.
The penalties for child molestation are severe. If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a sex crime such as child molestation, it is critical to hire a Georgia Sex Crimes Lawyer to assist with your case.
In the case of a wrongful accusation, the are Georgia Criminal Defenses that can apply. These defenses can include: the victim is older than 16 years of age, false report of the crime, or that the touching was appropriate and not sexual or immoral.
As mentioned above, a charge of child molestation carries substantial penalties. If you have been accused, contact us today.