Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

North Georgia Man Arrested on 17 Charges for Child Abuse

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 02, 2019 | 0 Comments

Scott Shelby has been arrested on 17 charges in White County, and 3 charges in Hall County. He has been accused of molesting children in White County and is now accused of molesting four of his children in Hall County. The children victims range in age from 10 to 15 years old.

The alleged abuse lasted from 2017 until February of this year, which is when the sheriff's office was contacted by DFCS about the alleged abuse. His charges include:

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline one of the offenses faced by Shelby in today's post - child cruelty.

Child Cruelty in Georgia

According to Georgia Law, cruelty to children in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-5-70 by dividing the  offense into three degrees.

First-degree cruelty to children occurs when a parent, guardian, or other person supervising a child under the age of 18 willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's well being is jeopardized. In addition, cruelty to children in the first degree includes when a person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. The penalty for being convicted of first-degree cruelty to children in Georgia is a prison term between five and twenty years.
Second-degree cruelty to children occurs when a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. Second-degree cruelty to children in Georgia comes with the consequences of a prison term between one and ten years.

Third-degree cruelty to children occurs when either a person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or a person, who is the primary aggressor, having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery. Third-degree child cruelty in Georgia can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. The first or second conviction will be treated as a misdemeanor. The punishment will include a period of confinement and a fine. Upon a third or subsequent conviction to cruelty in the third degree, the defendant will be guilty of a felony. The penalty will include a fine between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 and incarceration between one and three years.

Practice Note

Regardless of the severity of the crime - an arrest is not the same as a conviction. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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