One charge was dismissed and another count moved on to Superior Court in a Pendergrass man’s case of an alleged five-year sexual relationship with a minor.
Eleazar Mata, 41, appeared in Magistrate Court on Monday on charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation.
Lt. Scott Ware previously told The Times that Mata allegedly “engaged in a sexual relationship with a minor female” between January 2012 and April 2017. The girl was 13 years old at the beginning of the case, according to authorities.
Investigator Joy Mayfield testified Monday the case began as a runaway report regarding the alleged victim, where she was missing two days.
The alleged victim told Mayfield that Mata was “very controlling,” according to Monday’s testimony.
Mata’s attorney Matt Leipold argued there was insufficient evidence to prove the aggravated child molestation charge.
Because no date was given showing an act of sodomy happened before the age of 16, the aggravated child molestation charge was dismissed. The child molestation charge was bound over to Superior Court.
Leipold declined to comment on his client’s behalf.