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Child molester gets 30 years
Retrial ends in guilty verdict
David Cobb

A Gainesville man convicted of aggravated child molestation was sentenced to 30 years in prison this week in a case that took two trials and 30 hours of jury deliberations to decide.

David Aaron Cobb, 45, was found guilty of molesting a 6-year-old girl who was related to a woman he knew. Cobb was acquitted of molesting the girl’s 8-year-old sister.

A jury of eight women and four men spent 17 hours over two days deliberating the case before reaching a verdict late Wednesday night, Hall County Assistant District Attorney Wanda Vance said.

The eight-day trial was a replay of a trial in February that ended with a hung jury and a mistrial declared by Superior Court Judge Jason Deal.

The second jury also told the judge in a note it had reached an impasse, but was ordered to continue deliberations.

The molestations occurred sometime between October 2005 and February 2007.

Vance also presented evidence that Cobb exposed himself to two boys, ages 8 and 10.

Cobb was subject to sentencing guidelines as a repeat offender. He had prior felony convictions for burglary and forgery and a federal drug conviction, Vance said. The minimum sentence for recidivists convicted of aggravated child molestation is 30 years, though a judge can order a portion of the sentence be served on probation.

Deal ordered that the full 30 years be served in prison. He also sentenced Cobb to 20 years of probation to be served after the prison term.

Vance said the judge told Cobb he was particularly moved by the testimony of the victim’s father, who cried on the witness stand as he described his helplessness in being unable to protect his daughter.

The judge “found (Cobb) to be a predator who preyed on these vulnerable children and absolutely took advantage of them,” Vance said.