Girl endured years of sexual abuse from relative, officials say. Now, he’s sentenced

An Ohio man found guilty in the years-long sexual abuse of a young family member will spend the rest of his life in prison, according to Georgia prosecutors.

The 66-year-old man was sentenced days after jurors convicted him of aggravated sexual battery and three counts of child molestation, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said in a May 13 news release.

McClatchy News is not identifying the suspect to protect the identity of the minor.

The incidents happened in Lawrenceville and Loganville in 2019, prosecutors said. His victim, a female relative, was 8 at the time.

“No child should have to experience the terrible actions that this defendant practiced,” Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gatson said in the release. “He took advantage of a child’s vulnerability and innocence and left her with life-changing damage.”

Prosecutors said the man began molesting the girl when she was 8 and continued until she was 11.

She reported the incidents in 2021, telling investigators that the man touched her thigh on their way to a park in his Corvette two years prior. He also attempted sex acts with her “on multiple occasions,” according to the DA’s office.

Authorities didn’t say how the man and the girl are related.

A judge sentenced him to life in prison plus 20 years, prosecutors said. He must also register as a sex offender.

“Our Special Victims Unit worked tirelessly to ensure that he pays the price for his crimes and to send a message that no one who preys on children for sex is safe in Gwinnett County,” Austin-Gatson said.

Gwinnett County is about a 30-mile drive northeast from downtown Atlanta.

If you have experienced sexual assault and need someone to talk to, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for support at 1-800-656-4673 or visit the hotline's online chatroom.

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