Man gets 40 years for molesting girls, taking underwear photos
A Lawrenceville man has been convicted of more than a dozen felonies for taking photos of sleeping girls wearing only underwear and molesting one of the girls, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said.
Justin Rice, 34, has been convicted of eight counts of child molestation, three counts of invasion of privacy and two counts of sexual exploitation of children.
The U.S. Department of Justice found a “series of child sexual exploitation materials” on a foreign website in 2014, according to the district attorney’s office. The photos showed a female child asleep. She was clothed, but it appeared that her body had been posed by someone else and that her clothes had been “manipulated,” the DA’s office said.
The Department of Homeland Security found nearly three dozen photos like this. All of the photos had sleeping girls with their clothes “adjusted to show various parts of their bodies,” the DA’s office said.
Homeland Security special agents were able to trace the photos back to Rice, but when Rice learned law enforcement agents were at his home, he factory-reset his cellphone, erasing everything on it, the DA’s office said.
During the investigation into the photos, a child reported that Rice had molested her in the past.
Rice was convicted Thursday after a three-day trial.
He was sentenced to 40 years, with 20 to serve in prison and another 20 on probation.