Editor's note: Julian Mitchell was found "Not Guilty" by a jury during a trial in January of 2011.
Warning: The following story contains graphic details that may be disturbing to some readers.
Bond was denied Thursday for 51-year-old Julian Mitchell, who is being held in the Newton County Detention Center and charged with aggravated child molestation, child molestation and cruelty to children in the first degree.
According to Newton County Assistant District Attorney Melanie Bell, Mitchell is married to a woman whose 4-year-old family member lived with her at the time of the alleged event. The woman reportedly returned home and found the little girl in a shirt and panties and noticed Mitchell acting suspiciously. The child allegedly told her that Mitchell had “touched her booty.”
Authorities were contacted and the child was transported to a regional child advocacy center in Loganville where she participated in a forensic interview with specialist trained in dealing with traumatized children.
The little girl reportedly told advocates at the center that Mitchell had her lie across his lap at which point he “put his finger in her ‘booty’ and wiggled it.” When asked if he said anything while touching her, the child allegedly said that Mitchell told her that he loved her. The child was asked to point to a doll used in forensic interviews to indicate where Mitchell had touched her. She reportedly pointed to the vaginal area of the doll.
Mitchell denied the accusations against him and reportedly told authorities that the child had crawled into his lap and complained of being hot before removing her pants. However, according to Bell, Mitchell was found to be deceptive during a polygraph examination.
Bell also explained to Newton County Superior Court Judge Samuel Ozburn that Mitchell did have a criminal history, though he has not been convicted of a similar crime or any violent crimes in the past. He has had several DUI’s and several probation violations.
Deepa Patel, Mitchell’s public defender, argued that Mitchell had strong family support, indicating a number who were present in the courtroom, and that Mitchell was innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. She also added that he would be staying at the home of his adult son, not near any children and not in the home of his wife, if granted bond.
“He has a strong family support system that can ensure that he follows any rules the court may set forth,” she said.
Bell pointed out that even if given strict rules to abide by if granted bond, Mitchell had proven by past behavior that he “doesn’t abide by the court’s rules.”
In the end, Ozburn agreed with Bell, denying bond for Mitchell.
“I could put him on an ankle monitor, I could say he’s to have no contact with the child and so forth, but it really concerns me that he has a long-term pattern of not being amenable to supervision,” said Ozburn. “He is facing a very serious charge and it’s not a matter of a supportive family, it’s because there might be a problem with him doing what I tell him to do.”