A Henry County man will serve a life sentence after he admitted to raping and impregnating a 12-year-old girl, according to authorities.
Michael Arnold, 38, pleaded guilty Tuesday to rape and child molestation. Under the plea agreement, Arnold will serve 25 years of his sentence in prison and the rest of his life on probation.
Prosecutors said the McDonough man admitted in court that he sexually assaulted a female family member in March 2017.
The child’s mother contacted authorities after her daughter, who is now 13 years old, gave birth to a stillborn fetus, said Megan Matteucci, a spokeswoman with the Henry County District Attorney’s Office.
They didn’t know the the girl was pregnant until then. DNA from the fetus pointed to Arnold as the father, Matteucci said.
Arnold must serve every day of his prison sentence without the possibility of parole, according to an order from Judge John A. “Trea” Pipkin III. Once released, he must register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim.
“The family is satisfied with the outcome because it sends Mr. Arnold to jail for a significant amount of time and requires him to be supervised by law enforcement for the remainder or his life, while protecting the victim from testifying in court,” District Attorney Darius Pattillo said in a statement. “I commend McDonough Police and our team for conducting a thorough investigation and working diligently with public safety officials in another state to get justice in this case.”