Molestation charges to remain in juvenile court

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By Patrick Yost editor

A 14–year–old male charged with aggravated child molestation has been remanded to juvenile court, an Ogmulgee Judicial District prosecutor said. According to court records, the teen was arrested on New Year’s Day after he allegedly admitted to sodomizing a 4–year–old girl.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph McKinnon said that officials had initially considered charging the teen as an adult and adjudicating the case in Superior Court because aggravated child molestation is considered one of Georgia’s “seven deadly sins,” which also includes murder, voluntary manslaughter and rape. However, McKinnon said, “because he’s 14 we didn’t think we needed to do that.”

As an adult the maximum penalty for aggravated child molestation is life in prison and the minimum is 25 years. As a juvenile, McKinnon said, the maximum charge is five years in a juvenile facility. McKinnon said the suspect has also been ordered to undergo mental evaluation.

He has been released from incarceration and is “basically on house arrest,” McKinnon said. “We put enough conditions on his (release) that we feel comfortable,” McKinnon said.

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