A Georgia man who admitted to raping and impregnating a 12-year-old family member will only serve 25 years of a life sentence.
38-year-old Michael Arnold, of Henry County, pleaded guilty Tuesday to rape and child molestation. Under the stipulations of his plea agreement, Arnold will serve a full 25 years of his sentence in prison and the rest of his life on probation, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to prosecutors, Arnold said he sexually abused the young relative in March 2017.
The child’s mother knew to contact authorities when her daughter, who is now 13, gave birth to a stillborn, Megan Matteucci, a spokeswoman with the Henry County District Attorney’s Office, told the Journal-Constitution.
According to Matteucci, the family had no idea the child was pregnant until the delivery. DNA samples taken from the dead fetus proved Arnold was the father.
Judge John A. “Trea” Pipkin III ordered Arnold to serve every day of his 25-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole.
When Arnold is released, he must register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim.
Although Arnold will not have to serve a true life sentence, the family of the victim feels justice was served.
“The family is satisfied with the outcome because it sends Mr. Arnold to jail for a significant amount of time and requires him to be supervised by law enforcement for the remainder or his life, while protecting the victim from testifying in court,” District Attorney Darius Pattillo said in a statement to the Journal-Constitution. “I commend McDonough Police and our team for conducting a thorough investigation and working diligently with public safety officials in another state to get justice in this case.”
(Photo: Henry County Sheriff’s Office)