Man found guilty of molestation

Thu, 03/29/2007 - 2:57pm
By: John Munford

Defendant faked death but couldn’t escape Fayette jury 2nd time around

A jury convicted a former Peachtree City man Wednesday of molesting the 12-year-old daughter of his fiancee in March of last year.

Julian Dale Pipkins, 41, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Superior Court Judge Paschal A. English.

At the end of testimony Tuesday, Pipkins took the stand in his own defense, denying that he harmed the victim. His attorney, Paul Liston, alleged that the mother’s recollection of finding his client on top of her daughter while under the sheets in her daughter’s bedroom was clouded by a combination of alcohol and prescription medicine that she had taken that evening.

District Attorney Scott Ballard countered that several police officers and medical personnel encountered the mother that evening and none of them noticed she was impaired in any way.

During his closing argument, Ballard channelled his rage at the defendant, once walking towards the defense table, looking directly at Pipkins and saying loudly that among other things under Georgia law, “You can’t molest a 12-year-old girl.”

Pipkins attracted national attention in November when he faked his own death in a “fishing accident” off the coast of Galveston, Texas one day before his trial was initially scheduled to occur. Police soon discovered the sham and Pipkins was found weeks later in a homeless shelter in Miami, Fla.

The mother admitted that after she and her family moved back to Texas following Pipkins’ arrest, she learned that Pipkins too had moved back to the state. The mother began to worry for the safety of her daughter so she rekindled their relationship in an attempt to win Pipkins’ trust, she said.

The mother said she wanted to convince Pipkins — who had said he didn’t intend to return to Georgia for his trial — to reconsider that stance “so he can go to jail for what he did to my daughter.”

In rekindling the relationship, the mother admitted to having sex with Pipkins several times in large part also to protect her daughter.

“I figured I needed to get his trust and that’s what I did,” the mother said in court Monday.

The molestation incident occurred shortly after Pipkins, his fiancee and her two children located to Peachtree City as Pipkins took a new job with Cooper Lighting, officials said.

The mother’s name is being withheld to protect the confidentiality of the victim in the case, the latter of which is required by Georgia law.

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