UPDATE: 3 consecutive life sentences for S.C. man guilty of child molestation

Abraham Hardy, 39, was convicted of aggravated child molestation, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and statutory rape, officials said.

Credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

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Abraham Hardy, 39, was convicted of aggravated child molestation, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and statutory rape, officials said.

Credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

A South Carolina man who sexually abused an underage girl living in Douglas County was given three consecutive life sentences, officials said.

Abraham Hardy, 39, was sentenced Tuesday after being found guilty on all counts by a Douglas jury earlier this month, county District Attorney Dalia Racine said in a news release. Hardy was convicted of aggravated child molestation, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and statutory rape.

Racine praised the victim’s bravery in the case, which first came to light in 2019. According to the district attorney, Hardy used an existing relationship with the girl to “groom” and sexually abuse her for several years, beginning in 2015.

The girl endured a forensic interview with investigators, Racine said, during which she described engaging in “degrading and humiliating” sexual acts. She described several objects that were used during these acts, some of which were later recovered by authorities at Hardy’s home in South Carolina.

“Hardy had meticulously planned and prepared the victim for this abuse, and he used his relationship with her to manipulate her into thinking that they had a special relationship,” Racine said.

It was not until the girl moved away and received counseling that she understood she had been abused and reported Hardy’s crimes, according to Racine.

“The depravity of the defendant’s actions can’t be fully described here,” Racine said. “But in the face of that depravity, the victim stood up and ultimately showed incredible strength and resilience. The jury’s verdict ensures that the defendant is held accountable and that he will be placed where he can no longer harm anyone.”

According to Georgia law, someone convicted of a felony who receives a life sentence must serve 30 years before being considered for parole. Those who receive multiple consecutive life sentences must serve 30 years for each sentence before they can be considered for parole.

Hardy’s three consecutive life sentences ensure that he will not be eligible for parole for at least 90 years, making it unlikely that he will be released from prison during his lifetime.