Guinn accepts plea agreement
Pleads guilty to 15 counts child molestation, sexual exploitation
By Patrick Yost
A Morgan County man who faced more than 100 child exploitation and sexual molestation charges pled guilty to 15 counts last week in Morgan County Superior Court.
Horace Martin Guinn, Jr., 35, was sentenced, in total, to 40 years incarceration with 20 years to serve after he pled guilty to four counts of child molestation, six counts of sexual exploitation of children, four counts of invasion of privacy and one count of possession of methamphetamine. Guinn made the plea before Superior Court Judge William A. Prior, Jr. on Wednesday.
Guinn was arrested in Jan. 2011 and initially charged with 28 counts of child exploitation and one count of child molestation after Morgan County Sheriff’s Office investigators served a search warrant on his Guinn Road residence. A week after his initial arrest, investigators filed an additional 73 warrants against Guinn that included more charges of child exploitation, aggravated sexual battery and child molestation. In total, at that point, Guinn faced 105 criminal charges related to the investigation.
Guinn was charged after investigators seized several media devices, including cell phones and video cameras, that recorded images of child pornography and child molestation that occurred at his Guinn Road residence, said Alison Burleson, assistant district attorney, Ocmulgee Judicial District. Burleson said the images and acts were perpetrated on four female children, aged 5-years-old to 14-years-old at the time of the arrest.
The state, Burleson said, agreed to drop the sexual battery charges, which would have included possible sentencing of 25 years to life, in exchange for guilty pleas on three counts of child molestation, six counts of sexual exploitation of children and four counts of invasion of privacy and one count of possession of methamphetamine. Guinn received 20 years on each count of child molestation to run concurrent, 20 years on each count of sexual exploitation of children, to run concurrent, five years on three counts of invasion of privacy to run concurrent, five years on one count of invasion of privacy to run consecutive to all other counts and 15 years for one count of possession of methamphetamine to run consecutive to all other sentencing.
In addition to the sentencing Guinn is also ordered to agree to monitoring of any and all computers he uses, not remain in areas where minors congregate including schools and churches, have no contact with any child under 18-years-old and no further contact with any of the four victims. "If you have incidental contact with children, you will be civil and courteous to the child and immediately remove yourself from the situation," the court order reads.
He is also ordered not to purchase, consume or possess alcoholic beverages or drugs and must submit to breath, urine. blood or saliva tests to detect possible drug or alcohol use.
According to Burleson, Guinn was arrested approximately one week after a woman turned in an Ipod she had mistakenly taken from Guinn's possession. The woman told authorities that she had spent a night at Guinn's residence and after he had given her a ride to her Monroe residence the next day she realized she had the device in her purse. The woman told authorities that she examined the contents of the device and realized that there were child pornography images on the device and that the images had been taken at the Guinn's residence. The woman gave the device to Monroe Police Department detectives who in turn gave the device to Morgan County Authorities.
Burleson said several devices at Guinn's residence included both still shots and video images of him "molesting girls."
"If this girl hadn't turned the iPod in we might have never known this was going on."
Burleson said the state accepted the plea, in part, to reduce trauma for the four victims. "A trial of this magnitude would have been traumatic for the victims," Burleson said. She also said by accepting the plea agreement Guinn would not have the possibility of appeal. "A plea is an absolute certainty. It's actually what we wanted."
Guinn has remained incarcerated at the Morgan County Detention Center since his arrest. A request for bond was denied by former Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott in Feb. 2011, after Parrott ruled that Guinn posed a risk to children.
Burleson said the state was prepared to introduce literally "hundreds of videos and images" as evidence for jurors in the trial. "Neither side wanted to put the citizens of Morgan County through a jury trial," she said.
Printed in the February 7, 2013 edition