Congratulations to the Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic for the successful resolution of the first case tried to verdict under Georgia’s Hidden Predator Act. The legislation created a two-year window of relief from the statute of limitations for bringing civil charges in cases of child sexual abuse. The case was tried in the Paulding County Superior Court earlier this month.
This case and its victory are very important milestones, according to Wilbanks CEASE Clinic Director Emma M. Hetherington (J.D.’11). “Many believed that cases brought to trial under the Hidden Predator Act would be ‘too stale’ and be ‘too hard’ to successfully prosecute,” she said. “Also, with this being the first case to go to trial under the 2015 Act, it debunks the idea that the two-year window would produce a flood of cases. Most importantly though, this successful trial brought a sense of relief and justice to a now 45-year-old man who was abused from the ages of 9 to 18.”
The case was tried by clinic staff attorney Jean Goetz Mangan (J.D.’11).