A Hephzibah man convicted of assaulting a patient at the children’s mental health facility where he worked was sentenced to 50 years in prison on Wednesday.
A Richmond County Superior Court jury convicted Timothy Carroll, 51, last week of pedophilia and other charges laid as a result of his interactions in August 2017 with a 14-year-old girl. She had been interned at the Lighthouse Care Center after a suicide attempt.
Previous coverage: Former employee of children’s mental health facility convicted in pedophilia case
“The facts of this case are disturbing, not only was the victim a child but a suicidal child … and wherever she went for help she was injured,” said Judge Ashley Wright who presided over the trial. by Carroll. “This predatory behavior lacks redemption and is further compounded by the frailty of the person affected by it.”
The victim, now 18, testified that on the day Carroll admitted her to Augusta’s facility, he showed her pictures of a naked woman stroking herself and another of the male genitals. Another day, he led her to an empty room where he stroked her and took a picture of her topless breasts. The photographs, which were downloaded from Carroll’s phone, were presented as evidence at trial.
Assistant District Attorney Deshala Dixon told the judge that after testifying, the victim experienced emotional breakdown. Her mother told Dixon that since she was assaulted the victim has never been the same. It seemed like she had given up on everything and was mad at the world, Dixon said.
She also asked the judge to consider that two other patients complained of Carroll’s behavior and to take into account the messages found on Carroll’s computer regarding his desire to have underage daughters.
Defense attorney Khary Talley asked Wright not to consider facts not presented as evidence during the trial. But he asked him to take into account Carroll’s lack of criminal history, not even a speeding ticket, his years of Coast Guard service and family members who still need him.
Carroll read a prepared statement at his sentencing hearing. He said the past four years, three months and 21 days was a time out as he was held without bail after his arrest. There was nothing he could do to help investigate his case and evidence was lost and no witnesses were contacted, Carroll said. He would have been willing to plead guilty if the charges had been reduced to more accurately reflect what happened, he said. Carroll also apologized to the victim and his family. “I never intended to hurt.”
In 2017, he suffered from severe, undiagnosed depression after his father died, and then his older brother died in a horrific traffic accident, Carroll said. He now fears that his son will need a lung transplant and that his elderly mother will die before he can see them again.
Talley said an appeal will be filed on Carroll’s behalf.
In addition to the jail term, Wright imposed an additional five-year probation.