In Georgia, the offense of Child Molestation is governed by O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4. First, the person must have the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either themselves or the child. The offender may be charged with Child Molestation when:
- any immoral or indecent act is done to, in the presence of, or with any child under the age of sixteen years old, or
- by the 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 sixteen years old
Child Molestation can be a misdemeanor or a felony. This offense is a misdemeanor if the victim is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old, and the accused person is eighteen years old or younger and more than four years older than the victim. If convicted of Child Molestation as a misdemeanor, the offender may face up to one year of imprisonment. As a felony, the possible punishments range from five to twenty years of imprisonment. On the first conviction of this offense, the Department of Corrections is required to provide counseling to the offender. After the first conviction, the possible penalties increase. The offender may be sentenced to ten to thirty years or life imprisonment. Child Molestation is different from the offense of Aggravated Child Molestation, which the latter requires the convicted offender to register as a sexual offender for life.
The offense of Child Molestation does not require the state to prove that a person actually had sexual contact with the child. Unfortunately, false allegations can lead to a conviction. The way the statute is written, it can include almost any sexual act done around a child. That is why it is imperative to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Bixon Law, we will conduct an independent investigation into the accusations and fight for the best possible outcome. Give us a call at (404) 551-5684 to see how we can best serve your needs.