A 35-year-old Hoschton man who faced justice this week in Barrow County will spend the rest of his life behind bars for molesting a young female family member over a period of several years.

At the end of a four-day trial, a Barrow County jury found Edward Pershing Hunt guilty of rape, aggravated child molestation, child molestation and cruelty to children.

Superior Court Judge David Motes sentenced him to serve life plus 40 years in prison, according to a press release from the Barrow County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant district attorneys Patricia Brooks and Anna Bolden of the DA’s Special Victims Unit prosecuted the case. Expert testimony was presented by the Tree House Children’s Advocacy Center whose licensed medical social worker in July 2009 conducted a forensic interview of the child.

According to a Barrow County Sheriff’s Office incident report, the child said during the interview that the molestation began when she was 6 or 7 years of age in a duplex in Watkinsville and continued in Athens. The victim said Hunt threatened to assault her sisters if she did not cooperate.

She was 12 when the Barrow County assaults took place from Aug. 6, 2005-March 1, 2007.

Following a joint investigation by the Hoschton Police Department and the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, Hunt was arrested in October 2009 by Hoschton police officers and booked into the Jackson County Jail.

When he was later transferred to the Barrow County Detention Center, he was booked on two counts of family violence rape, four counts of family violence aggravated child molestation and 10 counts of family violence child molestation.

He will serve his entire Feb. 10 sentence in confinement, according to the press release.

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