Cobb County, GA – A Georgia judge sentenced a burglar who broke into two homes and molested a 12-year-old child in the process to 20 years in prison on Thursday.
The investigation began at about 2 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2021 when Cobb County police responded to the Chroma Park apartments for a report of a burglary, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Police said the victim woke up when her bedroom door opened and her screams scared off the intruder.
However, a spokesperson for Cobb County District Attorney Kayla Willis said that on his way out, the suspect stole two computer tablets from the apartment, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The victim had Ring cameras and shared the footage of the burglary with the police.
Authorities were able to get a good visual description of the suspect from the videos, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Two hours later, at about 4 a.m., another burglary occurred at an apartment complex near the East-West Connector.
The resident told police he woke up and realized the patio door was open and his son’s video gaming console had disappeared, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Then he saw a light on in his children’s bedroom and went to see what was going on, according to police.
The district attorney’s office said the father found a partially-clothed man sleeping next to his 12-year-old stepdaughter, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“The 12-year-old mouthed ‘help me’ to her stepfather, who then ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife to remove the man from their home,” Willis’ office said.
The commotion woke the little girl’s mother and she called 911, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The district attorney’s office said the 12 year old was transported to the hospital where she told doctors the intruder had molested and sodomized her.
Within hours, Cobb County police had tracked the suspect in both break-ins – identified as 29-year-old Malik Antonio Rollins – to an apartment in Chroma Park using the location function on one of the stolen tablets, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Rollins’ mother answered the door and confirmed her son’s identity from the burglary video.
Police arrested Rollins at the scene without incident.
Willis’ office said a search of the residence turned up the items stolen from the two homes that were burglarized and the clothing his victims had said Rollins was wearing at the time of the crime, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The victim’s mother spoke before Rollins’ sentencing and told the court about the impact the sexual assault had had on her young daughter.
Prosecutors praised the girl’s bravery and willingness to testify against her rapist, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
“The strength of this young lady to stand up to this defendant and take charge of her healing is courageous. Her family has built a strong foundation to support her moving forward,” Assistant District Attorney Kristen Judd said.
Rollins pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, one count of aggravated child molestation, and two counts of child molestation on March 16, WSB reported.
The judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole followed by 20 more years of probation.
Rollins will also have to register as a sex offender, WSB reported.