ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Dawson man convicted of raping and molesting two children will be facing life without parole at his sentencing in March. Perhaps no one felt more satisfaction from the guilty verdicts than the victims' father.
For four years, a father fought to get a sexual predator off the streets. He lost a job, his reputation, but he never gave up.
"There was one person who was fighting," said prosecutor Ron Smith. "There is one person that as soon as he figured out what's happening to his daughter, he didn't get his gun."
Through everything, the father was also hailed a hero in court.
"I wanted to do what any typical person would do if they had raped your daughter and molested your son," said the father of the victims.
This father didn't want to cause more harm to his children by ending up in jail for killing their molester.
"This is not how I would normally handle a situation like this, I'm being honest," said the father. "But, I had the faith and this is where it got me and I realize now at this moment this was bigger than a fist fight."
Instead, he protected his children by gathering evidence against the man who hurt them.
When the children finally told him they were raped and molested, he fought unceasingly, even when some law enforcement ignored his pleas for help.
"He went to law enforcement," said Smith. "And what did they make him out to be? Some crazy!"
The father never backed off law enforcement, by always bringing them new bits of information. It took more than two years before the investigation against Milton Johnson took shape.
"I know, I know what officers helped me. I know what officers didn't help me. I know what officers wanted to, but their hands were tied behind their back," said the father.
The father said he felt hopeless when his cries for help were ignored.
Friday, he expressed deep gratitude to Dawson Police Investigator Gene Shattles and GBI Agent Matt Marchant, who he says ran with with case once it was brought to their attention.
"I was just really disgusted by the things I had to face and the attitudes of certain ones that wear the badge that just would not help," said the father.
In the meantime, the father lost his job because he missed so many days of work dealing with the stress of his terrorized children, now in his custody.
He says he is working to offer his children some typical "childhood" experiences, but says this terrible experience will always be with the entire family.
"I bear the cross, but I love them enough to hurt enough to push through this to get to here," said the father.
The hearing brought on a guilty verdict on all 17 counts, and a new beginning for himself and his children.
"Before they are really truly grown, I want to somewhat give them some of their adolescence back," said the father.
For an additional clip from Melissa's interview with the father, a true hero, please visit her WALB Facebook page here.
Milton Johnson's sentencing is March 7th.
There are resources available for families facing the horror of child molestation. In South Georgia, one of the most well-known advocacy groups is the Lily Pad Center.
The Lily Pad Center serves families in 32 counties across our region. They have a 24 hour response time. For assistance, they may be called at 229-435-0074.