A man has been handed a life sentence for repeatedly raping a 9-year-old girl in Gwinnett County.
Anthony Seitz must spend the first 35 years in prison without the possibility of parole and the rest of the sentence on probation, according to Gwinnett Assistant District Attorney John Warr.
In handing down her sentence Friday, Judge Tracey Mason “noted that the facts of this case were the most disturbing of any case she has presided over thus far,” Warr said in a news release.
The investigation into the abuse started more than two years ago after a family friend told police she suspected Seitz was molesting the 9-year-old.
Seitz lived in a trailer in Hoschton with the girl, her mother, and her 4-year-old brother, Warr said. The girl’s mother was away the morning of Oct. 30, 2017, and asked the friend to swing by the family’s home to make sure the girl got on the bus for school. The friend went to the girl’s room, where she noticed the victim and Seitz in a compromising position, according to prosecutors.
Seitz “appeared to be extremely nervous when she entered the room and appeared not to want to let her question the victim about what was going on in the room,” Warr said. “Eventually, the family friend was able to get the girl dressed and on the bus to school before notifying police and her mother about what she had seen.”
The girl’s mother had her own suspicions because of an incident months earlier, according to prosecutors. However, she did not notify police because her daughter denied anything improper had taken place.
When the mother learned the friend called police, she asked the girl once again if Seitz had touched her. This time, the girl confessed, telling her mother the last rape occurred three months earlier, Warr said. She repeated that admission during an interview with Gwinnett police on Nov. 1, 2017. She said Seitz raped her five different times and pleaded with her not to tell anyone, especially her mother.
“During the interview, the victim expressed that she didn’t want to talk about the abuse because she didn’t want anyone to hurt” Seitz, Warr said.
Seitz was arrested two days later on five counts of rape. He has maintained his innocence since that Nov. 3, 2017, arrest.
Prosecutors, however, said they caught Seitz in “multiple lies” during the trial.
“The defendant also conceded that the victim does not lie,” Warr said.
A jury found Seitz guilty of rape after one hour of deliberation, Warr said.
Asia Simone Burns is a watchdog reporter for the AJC. Burns was formerly an intern in AJC’s newsroom and now writes about crime. She is a graduate of Samford University and has previously reported for NPR and WABE, Atlanta’s NPR member station.