Man, 81, gets 20 years in prison for molesting girl in Douglas County in 2017

2008 child molestation incident surfaces during trial, officials say

A man who fled to California to evade prosecution was sentenced to prison for molesting a child in Douglas County in 2017, officials said.

Jack Holley Jr., 81, was found guilty of child molestation and sexual battery. He was sentenced to 25 years, with the first 20 to be served in confinement.

Holley wasn’t originally suspected of child molestation. In January 2020, Athens-Clarke County police were called to investigate a report of child neglect, but during a forensic interview with an 8-year-old girl police discovered she was being sexually abused by Holley, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office said.

“It was determined that the abuse occurred in Douglas County during the summer of 2017 when she lived with Holley for a brief time,” district attorney spokeswoman Amanda Cooke said in a statement. “Holley would often take the child to a wooded area nearby and molest her.”

The case was investigated by the Douglas sheriff’s office. Cooke said investigators spoke to witnesses and interviewed Holley at the time.

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He was arrested and eventually released on a pre-trial bond, but he failed to appear in court in October 2021. He was found in a Southern California desert, near the border with Arizona, the following month. Authorities said he fled to avoid facing charges.

Holley was found with $17,000 in cash and various suitcases containing personal belongings. Police also said they found a loaded handgun in his car.

During the child molestation trial, Cooke said the jury also heard evidence that Holley previously committed similar acts against another child, a 10-year-old, in 2008. According to Cooke, that incident was unreported due to “threats that Holley made” to the victim.

“This defendant thought he could escape justice and accountability for his tragic abuse of multiple children,” Douglas District Attorney Dalia Racine said. “I am proud of the victim’s strength and bravery, our team, law enforcement partners, and the jury for ensuring that his disgusting behavior will not be tolerated in our community.”