Sexual Offenses, Child Molestation & Pornography

No arrest is more frightening or embarrassing than one for child molestation, pornography, or any sexual offense. Just like Law & Order SVU...most metro area counties such as Cobb, Cherokee and Fulton have special investigators and prosecutors dedicated to prosecuting only sex crimes against women and children. Because these investigators and prosecutors are often the most experienced and best trained, you need seasoned legal representation when facing a child-related or sexually-based criminal charge.

Not only are the criminal penalties unimaginably harsh, but the public scorn and humiliation can be just as devastating. An arrest for child molestation or child pornography will likely make the news. That’s why our philosophy in challenging any child or sexually related charge is tenacity with discretion. At Kilgore & Rodriguez, we have the experience and skills needed to defend against these serious charges, but understand that that your privacy and reputation need defending too.

In Georgia, a person cannot consent to any act of sexual intimacy until his or her sixteenth birthday. That means ANY SEXUAL CONTACT with a child who has not yet turned sixteen (16) is a crime.

Child Molestation is any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age 16 with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the person or the child. OCGA § 16-6-4 (a). Mandatory sentencing requires five (5) to twenty (20) years in prison....AND registration as a sex-offender. Note: Ignorance of the child’s true age is not a defense...even if child lies about her age.

Aggravated Child Molestation is any act of child molestation which physically injures the child or involves an act of sodomy (oral or anal sex). OCGA § 16-6-4 (c). Mandatory sentencing requires Georgia judges to impose a minimum sentence of twenty-five (25) years in prison...up to life in prison... AND registration as a sex-offender. Note: The “injury” necessary to constitute aggravated child molestation can be slight and does not require medical testimony.

Sexual Battery is any intentional physical contact with the intimate parts of another person without their consent. OCGA § 16-6-22.1. Sexual Battery is punishable up to twelve (12) months in jail, unless the victim is a child under sixteen (16), which becomes punishable up to five (5) years in prison... AND registration as a sex-offender. Note: There is no requirement of “force” and even the inner thigh or buttocks can be considered “intimate parts” for purposes of the statute.

Aggravated Sexual Battery is the intentional penetration of another person’s genitals or anus with a foreign object and without that person’s consent. OCGA § 16-6-22.2. Mandatory sentencing requires Georgia judges to impose a minimum sentence of twenty- five (25) years in prison...up to life in prison... AND registration as a sex-offender. Note: There is no requirement of “force” or “injury” necessary to prove aggravated sexual battery.

Child Pornography is criminalized in Georgia as Sexual Exploitation of Children. OCGA § 16-12-100. Any knowing possession or control of material which depicts a minor, or a portion of a minor’s body, engaged in sexually explicit conduct constitutes Sexual Exploitation, and is punishable from five (5) to twenty (20) years in prison. Note: “Minor” means any person under the age of eighteen (18). Law enforcement officers have sophisticated software programs which monitor file-sharing internet sites. If a person downloads any image of child pornography from such a site, law enforcement officers obtain the ip: address and can then procure a search warrant for the individual’s computer, digital storage devices, or files stored in an off-site file hosting service.

Strong History of Success

State v. S.L., Superior Court of Cobb County 07-9-3545-05; Father was falsely accused of sexually molesting his two biological daughters and step-daughter. Our defense expert explained how the police interviews with the children were highly suggestive. After a three week jury trial, S.L. walked out of the courtroom a free man. Postscript: The oldest child who told police her father had raped her later visited Mr. Kilgore in his office to explain how her mother had directed all three sisters to make false claims. S.L. has since graduated from college, forgiven his children, and welcomed them into his home after they were kicked out by his ex-wife.

State v. G.B., Cobb State Court 09-M-2400; Promising high school junior charged with raping a 15-year-old girlfriend and forced to sit in jail with NO BOND. After challenging the credibility of the evidence in court, charges were reduced and G.B. released on bond. Through later negotiations G.B. was never convicted of a sexual offense, never went back to jail, and never placed on sex-offender registry. Postscript: G. B. flourished the remainder of his high school career and received a scholarship to college where he excelled in all his studies.

State v. R.P., Superior Court of Cobb County 08-9-3216; High school student arrested for aggravated child molestation and held without bond. State alleged R.P. engaged in consensual “petting” with girl under the age of 16. Evidence challenged in a probable cause hearing, the charge reduced, and R.P. never prosecuted. When the State denied a petition to expunge R.P.’s record, we took the State to court and won.

Hedden et al. v. State, 288 Ga. 871 (2011); When several Cherokee County defendants were convicted of child pornography, the trial judge believed the law would not allow him to consider a sentence of less than 5 years in prison. We appealed, but the Court of Appeals sided with the judge in Cherokee County and denied the appeal. We then argued to the Supreme Court of Georgia that the trial judge and the Court of Appeals had misinterpreted the law. The Supreme Court of Georgia agreed with our interpretation of the law and reversed the Court of Appeals. As a result, three prisoners ultimately received reduced sentences.

State v. M.H.,Cherokee State Court 12M2148; Young man falsely accused of sexually and physically assaulting a teenage girl in the backseat of a car. After a thorough evaluation of the State’s case and preparation of defense witnesses, character witnesses, and text records, Maddox able to expose the lack of investigation or evidence corroborating the false allegations. Charges of battery and sexual battery dismissed.