Marietta man gets 30 years for targeting, molesting girl with special needs

Robert Willis Owens Jr. (Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office)

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Robert Willis Owens Jr. (Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office)

A Marietta man convicted of targeting a teenage girl with special needs and repeatedly sexually assaulting her was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison.

Robert Willis Owens Jr., 53, was sentenced for nine charges related to abusing the 15-year-old in 2014, Cobb County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Kim Isaza said in a news release.

Those charges included child molestation, attempted child molestation, three counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes and four counts of misdemeanor interference with custody.

The victim was chosen by Owens and had stayed overnight at his house on Lee Drive, Assistant District Attorney Courtney Veal said Wednesday during sentencing.

“(Owens) preyed on one of the most vulnerable members of our community because he knew he could easily manipulate her,” Veal said. “He is a danger to our community, especially children.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green immediately ruled that Owens is a recidivist under Georgia law, having been convicted of three felonies in the 1980s and 1990s.

He had previously been convicted for burglary, aggravated assault and forgery.

“This child was especially vulnerable,” Green said. “He chose her, he groomed her. He is a danger to our community.”

Owens has been in the Cobb County jail since his arrest in November 2014.