A Whitfield County jury on Friday found Robert Glenn Ward, 61, formerly of 3702 Chatsworth Road SE, guilty of child molestation and sexual battery of a minor.
The verdict was returned around noon following approximately 25 minutes of deliberation. The trial began on Monday and concluded with closing arguments to the jury Friday morning.
Ward faces up to 20 years in prison on the child molestation count and up to five years on the sexual battery count.
Although the charges before the jury involved a single victim, a total of five victims from ages 13 to 17 testified regarding sexual acts inflicted on them by the defendant. The evidence involved sexual touching by Ward as well as showing the underage victim sexually explicit videos. One of those videos, recovered from Ward’s cell phone, was played for the jury. A second video was deleted by the defendant before law enforcement could secure the evidence.
Ward had previously faced a jury in Murray County in 2014 for similar conduct but was acquitted in February of that year. The two victims in that case testified this week concerning that prior abuse as
"We applaud the courage of these young women to step forward and face their abuser and testify against him so that he could be held accountable for his actions," said District Attorney Bert Poston. "We would also like to thank Detective Rivera and the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative work and the GreenHouse, child advocacy center, for its assistance in conducting forensic interviews with the children.'
Ward was represented by Micah Gates and Latosha Heflin of the Public Defender’s Office. Superior Court Judge Jim Wilbanks presided over the trial and set sentencing for July 12.
The wtate’s case was presented by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer and Detective Jose Rivera of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.