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Thomas Rick Barker

A 53-year-old man from Chatsworth, Georgia, was convicted this week of child molestation after a jury deliberated for 17 minutes.

A Murray County jury made up of nine men and three women on Thursday found Thomas Rick Barker guilty of one charge of child molestation. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Barker had been in custody since his arrest on Oct. 19, 2019.

District Attorney Bert Poston said the jury heard from 10 witnesses, including three victims. The state's case was presented by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer with assistance from Special Agent Eric White of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Two of the victims were interviewed at The GreenHouse, a child advocacy center serving Murray and Whitfield counties. Barker was charged with a single count of child molestation related to one of the victims.

The other two victims testified against Barker and their testimony was used as evidence of the child molestation charge. Barker did not testify.

Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris, who presided over the trial, scheduled a sentencing hearing for Aug. 25.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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