Whigham man sentenced to 60 years in prison for child molestation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Whigham man sentenced to 60 years in prison for child molestation

December 11, 2006

Grady County-- The jury deliberated for only an hour and a half before convicting Benjamin Roberts.  The prosecuting district attorney Charles Stines says, "one aggravated child molestation gave him 20 years, on another count gave him 20 years consecutively, and on a third count of child molestation gave him 20 years consecutive."

Roberts was also charged with another count of child molestation, aggravated sodomy and possession of cocaine.  "Bottom line is this 48 year old man has 60 years to serve," says Stines.

The 9 year old girl that Roberts molested was the step-daughter of a relative. Prosecutors say the child often visited Roberts at his home.  "The stepmother had no reason to suspect that he was doing anything wrong with the child," Stines said.

But sometime in October of 2004 Roberts began giving crack-cocaine to her. Shortly after he began molesting her. Prosecutors say the molestation continued for 6 months, until the child finally came forward and told what was happening to her.  

"The child eventually told her step mother and her step mother did not really take action, then she told her mother and her mother then waited a while but then told Steve Clarke of the Grady Co. Sheriff's Department," says Stines.

Prosecutors say it was the victim's testimony in court that helped get the conviction.  "She was an excellent witness, she's a strong little girl and she's going to make the best of it," says Stines. 

The child is now living with her grandmother.  Roberts did not testify in his own defense.

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