January 4, 2013

Man pleads guilty to child sex crimes

Rachel Brown

— Cody Allen Satterfield waved goodbye to tearful family members as he walked over to the bailiff, prepared to go back to jail after pleading guilty to crimes related to having sex with a 12-year-old when he was about 19.

Satterfield, who was living at 1223 Green Springs Road when he was arrested in 2011, pleaded guilty in Whitfield County Superior Court before Judge Cindy Morris on Thursday to child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes. He requested a pre-sentence investigation, which allows the court to hear from him, the victim and others involved in his life, before he is sentenced on March 19.

“He evaluated the case and determined that his best legal option was to go with the pre-sentence investigation,” said Satterfield’s attorney, Jerry Moncus.

Satterfield’s family members declined comment.

Law enforcement officials said the girl ran away from her home in Gordon County and called Satterfield to pick her up after meeting him on Facebook. Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer said there was no sexual contact the first couple of times they met, but they later had sex at least four times at his house, and she went with him to purchase condoms.

Officials said the girl later called her father to come get her, and the father contacted the sheriff’s office, which began investigating.

The district attorney’s office agreed to dismiss two charges of aggravated child molestation against Satterfield in exchange for guilty pleas on the other counts.

Enticing a child for indecent purposes is a felony that carries a sentence of between one and five years. Child molestation in this case is a felony and carries a sentence of from five to 20 years.

According to state law, “If the victim (of child molestation) is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of child molestation is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor ...” Otherwise, the offense is a felony, even if the sex was consensual.