Child molester who never served time to learned fate in court - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Child molester who never served time learned his fate

Melvin Moseley (Source: Columbus Police Department) Melvin Moseley (Source: Columbus Police Department)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Convicted child molester, Melvin Moseley, 70, was sentenced to 7 years in prison Friday in Muscogee County Superior Court.  He must also register as a sex offender upon release from prison. 

Recently retired and embattled, Judge Doug Pullen, sentenced Moseley in 2003 for molesting a 15- year-old girl.  Moseley pleaded guilty but walked free for 8 years until last month.

Emotions ran high during Moseley's sentencing hearing in Judge John Allen's court as parities from both sides pleaded their cases. 

After the judge denied a defense motion to recuse, Julia Slater, District Attorney, from the sentencing hearing, several people spoke before the court.  Slater, who was not present for the hearing, did internally recuse herself, according to Prosecutor, LaRae Moore.

Moseley's wife, Johnnie, read a letter to the court pleading for mercy for her husband of more than 40 years. She told the court even though her husband has not been in prison for the last 8 years, he has not been free. "He has lived with no peace and no rest.  My family is sincerely sorry for all the pain this has caused. My husband was put on suicide watch in the jail. I am asking the court for mercy," explained Johnnie Moseley.

Melvin Moseley, speaking from his chair surrounded by sheriff's deputies, cried as he told the judge he is very remorseful. "I apologize personally to the judge, the young lady and her family. I forgive her for the false statements she made in 2003. I told the truth from the beginning. I've been sitting at home taking care of my family (his 92 year old mother) and I've never hurt anyone," explained Moseley.

Moseley also acknowledged, "I know what I did was wrong. I wasn't trying to take advantage of her; I was trying to help her. She told me she didn't have anyone in her family to help her."

A fellow veteran who served with Moseley in Germany also commented in court. Mickey Webb added, Moseley and his wife are upstanding citizens who are very loving and kind people. He said he didn't know what happened that caused his friend to be in this situation, but asked for mercy.

During redirect, Moore asked Moseley two questions: "You mentioned forgiving the lady for saying you raped her but you've never said anything about forgiving you for what you did to her. Did you initially tell police you and she planned to leave the area with a 15 year old girl even though you were married?"  Moseley answered, "Yes".    Moore also asked stated, You said, you'd never hurt anyone.   "Did you take away the innocence and the last few days of this girl's youthfulness?"  Again, Moseley said, "Yes".

Moore also reiterated some of the details surrounding the case. She stated Moseley and the victim had sex three times in his van  in front of Columbus High School. Moore added the 15- year- old became pregnant. She is now in her early 20s.

The girl's parents also informed the court of their position in the case.  The mother said, "Sympathy for a 70- year- old man, I don't have.  As a mother, I want him to serve the 15 years for what he did to my daughter."  Reading a letter, the father also emphasized, that like Moseley, he to is a veteran, although medically retired after serving in Iraq.  "I was unaware that Moseley was not incarcerated.  This case has opened old wounds for us. And, to say Post Traumatic Stress is to blame are unwarranted. I also suffer from PTSD."

Judge Allen issued his ruling by stating, "The judiciary takes a black eye for the delay in this situation as it is, although it was not intentionally. Judge Bobby Peters brought the case forward." It's an unusual case. Shellnutt is right in one regard, there was a great body of work in delaying this case.

Allen also commented on a statement Moseley made during his plea for mercy to the court.  "The defendant saying he forgives the victim for saying he raped her, speaks to your attitude which is consistent with the PSR-- a mental evaluation performed on Moseley in 2003.  Allen added it stated the defendant was in denial. Moore also acknowledged the report, adding the findings  pointed out Moseley never found blame in himself and always tried to make it favorable for him.

Even though Moseley didn't serve time during the eight years, Allen gave him credit for those years citing an error on behalf of the government.  Moseley looked back at his family as deputies escorted him out of the courtroom.

Johnnie Moseley spoke to reporters after court. Speaking in a soft spoken voice, she said she doesn't know how she's going to get through this and hopes her husband who's health is failing will hold on.

Judge Pullen cited the case as one of the reason he abruptly left the bench.  Pullen came under fire after the Judicial Qualifications Commission made inquiries about the case and his judicial decision in other matters.

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·  Child molester behind bars after years of walking free
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