Man convicted of raping girl in Carroll County had ‘regular access’ to her

Credit: Carroll County Sheriff’s Office

Credit: Carroll County Sheriff’s Office

A man who sexually abused a child for several years was convicted of rape Friday by a Carroll County jury, officials said.

Mark Anthony Starnes, 46, is scheduled to be sentenced in November after being found guilty of rape, two counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of child molestation.

During the trial, evidence showed that Starnes repeatedly sexually abused and molested the victim from a young age until she was 12, District Attorney Herb Cranford of the Coweta Judicial Circuit said. The victim was not unknown to Starnes, and Cranford said the man had “regular access to the victim.”

The abuse ended in 2019.

It wasn’t until April 2020 that the child disclosed the abuse to a relative. Cranford said the victim’s mother was then told about the incidents and reported them to the sheriff’s office.

Starnes was arrested in Florida in July 2020 and extradited to Carroll County.

The victim endured cross-examination during the trial but was able to see justice in the end, Cranford said.

“The young victim persevered through the attacks against her to tell the truth about what she endured,” he said. “We’re thankful the jury saw the truth in this case and spoke the truth through their verdict by finding Starnes guilty of all counts.”