Superior Court Judge Clint Bearden denied the request of a 16-year-old and his attorney to move his conviction to Juvenile Court for sentencing.
Jadyn Young was acquitted Feb. 18 on the most serious charges against him — aggravated child molestation — that could have led to life imprisonment. He was, however, convicted on two lesser charges, sexual battery, in Bearden’s courtroom. The maximum penalty on a charge of sexual battery is five years.
Two days after the verdict, attorney David Hoffer filed a request to move the case to Juvenile Court, arguing that the court’s resources will “stress things that are important for a kid.”
“In consideration of the laws of the state of Georgia, the courts find that it is appropriate and proper for this court to retain jurisdiction over the case for the purposes of sentencing following the trial,” Bearden wrote in the order filed Thursday, March 14.
Bearden took the issue under advisement after hearing arguments from both sides.
Assistant District Attorney Shiv Sachdeva argued before the judge March 4 that with roughly a week of testimony and evidence heard in the case, Bearden would be better positioned to make a sentencing decision compared to a Juvenile Court judge.
Sachdeva also cited precedent stating that a “transfer solely for the purpose of disposition after conviction would have done little more than impede the judicial process with procedural steps.”
Sentencing has been set for March 20.