G. Grant Brantley, a senior Cobb Superior Court judge, had those words for defendant Rebecca Wiggins before sentencing her Monday afternoon to life plus 20 years for sexually exploiting a child.
On Friday evening, a jury found Wiggins, 37, guilty of sexual exploitation of a child, aggravated sodomy, child molestation and first-degree child cruelty. The jury had deliberated for less than two hours.
Prosecutors had argued during the nearly weeklong trial that Wiggins accepted nearly $10,000 from an east Cobb man, David A. Ray, in exchange for providing access to her 7-year-old niece, who was in Wiggins’ custody in 2004. The abuse occurred over a number of years.
“This child was repeatedly violated, really, at your hands,” Brantley told Wiggins, who showed no emotion. “You transported her to the place where it was done, for profit. You bathed and prepared her for a person who physically performed the act. You held her down in one instance, and in another you held her hand (while the girl was sodomized). And the only comfort you gave her in holding her hand was telling her it was all right.”
Police were first notified of the allegations in 2009. The girl, who is now 14, testified on the first day of the trial. Ray killed himself in April 2009, a day after Marietta Police tried to arrest him on child-molestation charges, according to the medical examiner’s report.
Wiggins insists she is innocent. Her court-appointed lawyer, Kim Frye, of Marietta’s Frye Law Group, has filed a motion for a new trial.
Frye said her client was stunned and in shock when the verdict was returned Friday.
“It was 8 o’clock Friday night. I think their minds were made up long before we opened our mouths. The allegations in this case are horrible, and it’s very hard for people to get past the nature of these allegations to listen to the arguments,” she said.
Lead prosecutor Chuck Boring said all of the jurors stayed after the verdict was returned on Friday to give feedback to the attorneys.
“They said the most telling thing was the victim’s testimony, and she was so credible,” he said. “When you’re telling the truth, you don’t have to think about it.”
The judge sentenced Wiggins to the maximum penalty, as Boring had sought.
“It was appropriate, given everything that came out at trial,” Boring said. “I don’t think any other sentence would have been just.”