An Oakwood man was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and molesting a 12-year-old girl he knew as a neighbor.
A jury of 10 men and two women convicted Angel Martinez-Palomino, 32, of kidnapping, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and child molestation last Friday.
The five-day trial in Hall County Superior Court ended with visiting Judge Russell Smith ordering Martinez-Palomino to serve life in prison, which means he will spend 25 years incarcerated, according to court documents.
The rest of his sentence will be served on probation.
"Those who molest children in our community should be aware that their doing so anywhere, particularly here, is not tolerated, and that the consequences are severe, as they should be," Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh said.
"We appreciate the jury's verdict."
Assistant District Attorney Alison Toller argued on June 23 Martinez-Palomino invited the victim into his apartment at the 3117 Spring Lane complex in Oakwood, where he worked as a maintenance man.
Alone with the girl, he kept her from leaving the residence, "dragged her to a couch, and to the bathroom, where he kissed her, (molested her) and masturbated in her presence," prosecutors said.
Martinez-Palomino's lawyer couldn't be reached for comment.
The judge ordered an acquittal of one of the child molestation charges against Martinez-Palomino, who was indicted in August.
Both sides agreed "there had not been sufficient proof" to convict Martinez-Palomino of the molestation charge.
The jury remained split on another charge — enticing a child for indecent purposes. Smith declared a mistrial on that count, according to court records.
Evidence presented during the week included testimony that the victim reported what happened after being threatened by the defendant's girlfriend, Darragh said.
The girl, whose identity is being withheld because she is a sex crime victim and a minor, lived at the complex with her family who knew Martinez-Palomino.