ALMA — A convicted felon was found guilty of aggravated sodomy and child molestation by a jury in Bacon County Court Wednesday, said a spokesman for the Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney.
Reppard Sharpe was convicted on aggravated sodomy and two counts of child molestation and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Kelly Brooks to life without parole, a mandatory sentence based on Sharpe’s prior felony convictions in 1991 of rape, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping and aggravated assault.
Prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ian Sansot, the case was decided by approximately 40 minutes of jury deliberation.
The evidence showed that the victim, who was 13 years old at the time, was related to Sharpe through her step-father, Sansot said.
“One night in May 2017, Sharpe (a visitor in the family home for the night) crept into the child’s room, removed her underwear and began licking her private parts,” said Sansot. “The child testified that she was scared, rolled over and pretended to be asleep, hoping that Sharpe would leave (which he subsequently did).”
The victim further detailed two later incidents, one in which Sharpe grabbed her breasts, another in which he grabbed her buttocks.
The accounts were not disclosed until October 2017, he said. The victim testified that she only told her younger cousins about the incidents in order to protect them from Sharpe, who continued to occasionally spend time with the extended family.
Sharpe testified on his own behalf, admitting that he had previously been convicted of and sent to prison for rape, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping and aggravated assault in 1991.
After he was released from prison in 2011, Sharpe testified that he was now a family man, causing no trouble and that he was “not guilty” of these accusations.
The jury, said Sansot, believed the now 15-year-old child, and convicted Sharpe as charged.
“This case involved a highly detailed, heavily corroborated and very credible account from a child who endured one of the most heinous things that could happen to a person,” said District Attorney George Barnhill, “and we are extremely happy that this young girl is able to close out this dark chapter. In most cases, victims wait years before telling anyone about abuse. We hope that this case will encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward.”
Barnhill also said he is thankful for the work of Bacon County Sheriff Mark Cothren, Investigator Cabe Cartledge and all other witnesses and officers involved in bringing the case to justice.