Randal Troy Harris, 65, formerly of 218 Blankenship Road, Resaca, Ga., was sentenced Wednesday by Superior Court Judge William T. Boyett to serve a total of 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole followed by life. He was convicted of numerous offenses related to molestation of two underage girls over a period of several years.
Harris received the 25 years plus life probation on two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of aggravated child molestation. Harris was also sentenced to serve 25 years on one count of incest, 10 years each on four counts of child molestation, 10 years each on two counts of influencing a witness and 12 months each on two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.
District Attorney Bert Poston said Harris will be required to serve the full 25-year sentence, day-for-day, without parole. As conditions of the probated portion of his sentence he will have to register as a sex offender, pay fines, perform community service work and abide by other conditions.
Harris was convicted by a Murray County jury on Dec.
7 following a week-long trial and deliberations which lasted less than an hour. The acts of child molestation took place over a period of years before the victims disclosed the abuse through the Murray and Whitfield County School Systems.
The case was investigated by Detective Brett Morrison of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of personnel from the Department of Family and Children Services and the school systems who also testified at trial. The children were interviewed by Forensic Interviewer Melissa Wells of the GreenHouse child advocacy center. She also testified. In addition to the abuse charges, Harris was convicted on two counts of influencing a witness based on his offer to pay money to the victims to tell investigators that nothing had happened.
DA Poston said, "The District Attorney’s Office commends the victims for their courage in reporting the abuse and cooperating with the investigation and prosecution."
The case was presented by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer, who prosecutes all child victim cases in Murray County while also handling a full standard caseload in Whitfield County. Harris was represented by Calhoun attorney Giles Jones. Judge Boyett presided over the trial as well as sentencing.