A former Athens-Clarke County police officer was sentenced to 55 years for molesting an underage cadet under his supervision.
A jury found Kristin Ward guilty of child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and three counts of violating his oath as a police officer on March 23, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
The jury, however, acquitted him of the more serious charge of aggravated sexual battery.
The victim was in the Clarke County Civil Air Patrol, a nonprofit auxiliary program of the U.S. Air Force, when prosecutors said Ward assaulted him between September 2010 and November 2011. Ward, who was commander of the unit, said he is innocent, according to the Banner-Herald.
Judge Regina Quick on Wednesday ordered Ward to serve the first 44 years of his sentence in prison and the remaining years on probation, according to sentencing documents the Banner-Herald obtained.
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