A Dawsonville man must serve at least half of the 40-year prison sentence he received after admitting he sexually abused a teenage family member.
Kyle William Bancalari, 39, pleaded guilty July 7 to six counts of child molestation before Northeastern Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin.
He also pleaded to a single pornography charge that stemmed from illicit photos of the girl found on his cell phone.
Bancalari did not address the court last week other than to acknowledge he had committed the acts.
Had he been convicted in a trial, Bancalari could have faced more than 100 years in prison for aggravated child molestation.
In exchange for his plea to the lesser charge of child molestation, Bancalari was sentenced to 40 years, with 20 to serve in prison. He will then spend the remainder of the sentence on probation.
The victim, who was 15 at the time of the molestation, was in the courtroom last week, but did not want to speak at the hearing.
Katie Strayhorn, a victim’s advocate for the Dawson County District Attorney, said the victim and her mother were in agreement with the sentence that kept the teen from having to testify in court.
In addition to prison time, Bancalari must pay up to $5,000 for counseling for the victim and abide by all sex offender rules on probation, including registering as a sex offender.
He must serve out his probation in another state and is banished from Georgia, aside from Ware County.
Rob McNeill, his court-appointed attorney, said Bancalari would live in Florida upon his release.
Bancalari was arrested on Jan. 10 after he was questioned by investigators and admitted molesting the girl.
According to the arrest warrant, Bancalari began touching the teen about six months to a year before she reported the abuse, which had escalated by that time.
Strayhorn said the victim is undergoing counseling but “has a long road ahead of her.”
Bancalari is being held at the Dawson County Law Enforcement Center awaiting transfer to a state facility.