A Coweta County man who was accused of sexually abusing his young relatives in the 1990s is going to prison for 40 years after being convicted Friday, authorities said.
Russell Edward Middendorf, 50, was convicted of child molestation and enticement, Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herb Cranford told AJC.com. The five victims were between the ages of 4 and 9 at the time of the abuse, which took place across multiple decades.
The family contacted law enforcement in the early ’90s after the first alleged incident, but Cranford was not sure why the case never progressed at the time. It took another victim coming forward decades later to land Middendorf behind bars.
In August 2016, the victim told her counselor about her abuse and the abuse of her four other relatives over the years. The counselor then reported it to the Division of Family and Children’s Services, which contacted law enforcement.
Middendorf was indicted, but only for the abuse of one of the five victims due to Georgia’s statute of limitations on sex crimes, Cranford said. He was arrested Jan. 16, 2019, according to county jail records.
The indictment said Middendorf used the trust of his relatives to gain access to the victims when they stayed over at another family member’s house. AJC.com is not revealing Middendorf’s specific relation to the victims in order to protect their identities.
The jury returned a guilty verdict in a little more than a hour. Judge Travis Sakrison gave Middendorf the maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
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