MCDONOUGH, GA – Henry County’s first jury since the outbreak of the pandemic returned a guilty verdict today against a McDonough man for exposing himself in front of a 3-year-old child.
The jury convicted Shawn Raheem Clark, 25, of child molestation and public indecency. Clark exposed himself and masturbated in front of a toddler who was visiting him while he was incarcerated at the Henry County jail.
The jury returned the guilty verdict after deliberating for less than 30 minutes.
Henry County Chief Superior Court Judge Brian J. Amero sentenced Clark to 20 years with the first 10 years to be served in prison. Clark also must register as a sex offender and have no contact with children.
This was Henry County’s first jury trial following the Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice’s Emergency Order halting jury trials in March 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19. Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton lifted the statewide jury trial suspension in March of this year.
“We are pleased to be able to be back to doing in-person jury trials in a courtroom environment that meets the safety standards recommended by Department of Health,” District Attorney Darius Pattillo said.
The District Attorney’s Office worked closely with the Henry County Superior Court judges, public defender’s office and Henry County Department of Health to come up with a jury trial plan that includes social distancing, mask mandates, plexiglass dividers in the courtroom, air filters and other safety protocols.
The trial this week also relied heavily on technology to allow jurors to be socially distanced and evidence to be shared digitally on several monitors placed throughout the courtroom.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Megan L. Matteucci and the District Attorney’s Crimes Against Children/Domestic Violence Unit.