Woman’s instincts confirmed after her child’s father is convicted of molestation

Eddie Dubose was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of aggravated sexual battery and child molestation. His record goes back to 2006 and he remains under investigation for a 2019 incident.

Credit: Georgia Department of Corrections

Combined ShapeCaption
Eddie Dubose was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of aggravated sexual battery and child molestation. His record goes back to 2006 and he remains under investigation for a 2019 incident.

Credit: Georgia Department of Corrections

DeKalb man repeatedly accused of child abuse since 2006

For 16 years, Ilona Ivey had a gut feeling that the father of her child was inappropriate around children. But there was nothing concrete that could verify her intuition.

Those instincts, however, were confirmed when Eddie Dubose was charged in an incident involving two teenage girls in 2006, pleaded guilty and had to register as a sex offender in DeKalb County.

When more and more charges began stacking up, Ivey said she wasn’t surprised.

“I do strongly, strongly, strongly feel that had this been taken care of in 2006, when those initial charges occurred, that that would have prevented so much,” Ivey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He basically got a slap on the wrist.”

That changed two months ago when Dubose was convicted of molesting a 13-year-old girl at his DeKalb home in 2016. He is now serving a life sentence, and remains under investigation for another child molestation case in 2019, the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office said.

Even prior to a conviction, Ivey said she was always vigilant with their daughter since giving birth in 1990 when she was 17 and Dubose was 24. She left Dubose six months later, but at that point she had little control over the child having a relationship with him.

“I had no choice because DeKalb County told me you have to give visitation after child support,” she said. “And at that point, he had no charges against him, so I had no choice.”

While she allowed the young girl to get to know her father, Ivey said she made sure to teach her what was appropriate and inappropriate. Sometimes, she said, she feared their daughter would become a victim. She is thankful nothing ever happened.

ExploreDeKalb man gets life in prison for molesting 13-year-old girl

Dubose’s first appearance in a DeKalb courtroom came in 2008, when he was charged with felony sexual battery and felony child molestation in the 2006 incident. He pleaded guilty to sexual battery and was sentenced to three years of probation. The molestation charge was dropped, according to online records. He received first offender treatment and was registered as a sex offender.

According to Amy Boney, the CEO of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia, first offender treatment was an opportunity for Dubose to change.

“Our judicial system is set up to provide as much fairness as possible to anyone that’s accused,” she said. “I think that our juries have to currently look at what’s being accused — they can’t look at what might happen in the future because that’s not how our judicial system is designed. As long as that first offender treatment is there and applicable, it will be used because all human beings hope that it was a one-time offense.”

But it wasn’t just a one-time offense. In 2016, Ivey and her daughter had to watch as Dubose was again accused of molestation. The charges were devastating for their daughter, who had been in contact with Dubose throughout the years, Ivey said.

“It’s got to be rough anytime your parent is accused of something like this,” Ivey said. “She wanted very much to distance herself from that portion of it, which is very difficult to do.”

In March, Dubose was found guilty of aggravated sexual battery and child molestation. He was sentenced to life in prison. The 13-year-old victim and her mother were staying at his home in Lithonia when he assaulted the teen while others in the house were asleep, according to authorities. Dubose had also molested the victim two months prior, prosecutors said.

Dubose is also accused of molesting a child under the age of 16 in 2019, according to a DeKalb arrest warrant. He was indicted in 2021, and that case is pending.

None of Dubose’s victims were strangers to him.

Boney said the majority of child sexual abuse involves someone the child knows. It often occurs with a family member or someone the parents or the child trust.

“The way predators really get their hands around children is the adults hand them to them,” Boney said. “Consider the fact that if it’s someone that is overly interested in being with the children, there may be a reason.”

With cases involving young victims, Georgia Center for Child Advocacy CEO Sheila Ryan explained that parents need to be attentive of their children. Due to a lack of life experience and the correct words to talk about abuse, some remain silent. But even when a child is aware of the abuse, it’s not easy to disclose.

“It’s really important for every child to have a trusted adult within their world, someone that if they talk to will believe them,” Ryan said.

Disclosure sometimes comes months or even years after an incident. Victims tend to confess later for multiple reasons, including fear, safety and security, according to experts. Other times, children may not even realize they are being abused.

Even with Dubose behind bars, Ivey thinks more victims will speak up.

“When someone gets caught for anything, they’re just caught that time,” Ivey said. “So there are victims out there that we don’t know their names or faces.”