Columbia County man sentenced to prison for molesting child

A Columbia County man pleaded guilty Monday to reduced child molestation charges.

Ethan C. Simmons, 21, pleaded in Columbia County Superior Court to child molestation and sexual battery. Judge Michael N. Annis sentenced Simmons to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years probation.

According to the indictment, Simmons was accused of having sexual relations with a child between February and March 2015. Assistant District Attorney Ricky Coates said Simmons met the then 12-year-old victim while both were in treatment at the Lighthouse Care Center, and he contacted her after their release. Coates said that while Simmons denied there was sexual intercourse, there were text messages about pregnancy concerns.