A Richmond County Superior Court jury deliberated for about seven hours over two days before convicting an Augusta woman Thursday of child molestation charges for having sex with a 13-year-old boy.
Judge J. David Roper immediately began the sentencing hearing for Dana Adams, 33, who was convicted of all charges, including aggravated child molestation and four misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child neglect.
Adams begged the judge not to send her to prison, but the judge explained that he had no choice. The mandatory minimum sentence for child molestation is 25 years in prison. He imposed that and added two additional years’ incarceration for the misdemeanors.
The victim in the case was visibly upset after the sentencing. Assistant District Attorney Melissa Marks and sheriff’s Investigator Mark Dobbins sat with the teen, assuring him that he wasn’t the one responsible for what happened.
He testified this week that he hadn’t wanted to tell anyone what happened because he did not want to get Adams into trouble. He said he had known her his whole life. Adams testified that she believed she had been at the hospital when he was born.
Marks said after the trial that she offered a plea deal to drop the aggravated child molestation charge if Adams would plead guilty to the remaining charges. Adams wouldn’t have faced a mandatory prison sentence, but she rejected the plea. She refused to take responsibility, Marks said.
Adams testified that she committed no crimes during a weekend in fall 2011 when a young male relative and the boy spent the weekend at her home.
The teenager testified that Adams loaned him money to buy marijuana, drove him to pick it up and smoked it with the teen and two others. Adams denied it happened, but two other people present that weekend testified that she did smoke marijuana with the boys.
The teen testified that after he and Adams were alone, they had sex several times before she drove him home the next afternoon.