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Man cleared of molestation charge

Teenage son convicted in separate trial

POSTED: February 11, 2009 4:00 a.m.

A 38-year-old Dawsonville man arrested last year on child molestation charges was acquitted by a jury Feb. 4.

  

His 16-year-old son was found guilty of sexually assaulting the same female and could face at least 25 years in prison, said Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh.

  

The two cases were tried separately.

  

Citing what it said was a lack of sufficient evidence, a jury found Michael Lanier Adams not guilty on one count each of child molestation and aggravated sexual battery.

  

The charges stemmed from a complaint by a female child that Adams and his son, Mitchell Lee Adams, 15 at the time of his arrest, had molested her in May 2007.

  

Mitchell Lee Adams also was charged with one count each of child molestation and aggravated sexual battery.

  

Due to the severity of the charges, the teen was tried as an adult in late January.

  

“A crime of this nature with a suspect at age 13 has to start in Superior Court,” Darragh said. “The DA can choose to move it to Juvenile Court, but doesn’t have to. In this case, we chose to leave it in Superior Court.”

  

Sentencing for the younger Adams, who a jury convicted on both charges Jan. 29, is scheduled for Feb. 20.

  

The minimum sentence is 25 years in prison with mandatory life on probation.

Mitchell Adams would remain in a juvenile facility until he turns 17, at which time he would be transferred to an adult prison, Darragh said.

  

E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

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