"My only objection is I can't give him more than 20 years," Judge James G. Blanchard said during the sentencing hearing for George E. Dickman III, 47.
Mr. Dickman pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to child molestation, admitting he molested a 7-year-old girl between August and December 2005.
It wasn't the first time, Assistant District Attorney Al Corey told the judge. In 1996 Mr. Dickman was accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl in the same manner. He wasn't prosecuted then because of the difficulty in bringing such a young child into court.
The family of the 7-year-old just wanted to ensure Mr. Dickman stayed in prison long enough for the victim to become an adult. Her biggest fear is that Mr. Dickman will come back for her, the child's grandmother told the judge.
She agreed with the judge's assessment that Mr. Dickman will do it to another child if he gets the chance. That's why Judge Blanchard refused to accept a plea negotiation for 13 years that the attorneys proposed.
Attorney Richard Bravo said Mr. Dickman would still plead guilty to accept responsibility for what he had done and to spare the victim and her family further pain.
Judge Blanchard imposed a 20-year prison sentence. When Mr. Dickman is released from prison he will have to register as a sex offender. Among the rules is no contact with any child.
Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.