Evans v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Appellant was indicted on one count of child molestation, alleged to have occurred between January 1, 2009 and August 31, 2009, and two counts of sexual exploitation of children, that were alleged to have occurred on or about January 21, 2010. After a bench trial, appellant was convicted of child molestation and of one of the counts of sexual exploitation of children, and acquitted of the other count. At sentencing, the trial court opined that the law provided that it could not sentence appellant to less than the mandatory minimum of five years to serve in prison for the child molestation conviction because the conviction for sexual exploitation of children was a “relevant similar transaction,” which precluded a downward deviation under OCGA 17–10–6.2 (c) (1) (C). The court then sentenced appellant to 20 years, with five years to be served in prison, on the child molestation charge, and a concurrent sentence of five years to be served in prison for the sexual exploitation conviction. The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the trial court had correctly applied the statute. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to the Court of Appeals to determine whether the appellate court was correct in construing the phrase, “relevant similar transaction,” as used in the applicable statute in this case. Finding that the appellate court was indeed correct in so holding, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment.