A former Warner Robins businessman and Robins Air Force base official will serve at least 8 years in prison after he admitted to child molestation.
Friends and family gathered inside the courthouse waiting to hear Shelly Simmons, Sr.'s fate. Simmons was charged with eight counts of child molestation, involving four separate young victims.
He pleaded guilty to four counts a week ago, preventing the victims from having to testify against him in court.
Assistant District Attorney Clif Woody told the judge Simmons admitted to putting the victims on his lap and touching them inappropriately, and grabbing the buttocks and breasts of another victim.
The state read letters from the victims and friends of Simmons' spoke on his behalf.
Ultimately Judge George Nunn sentenced Shelly Simmons Sr. to twenty years in prison, serving eight.
Simmons' lawyer, Franklin Hogue asked Judge Nunn to give his client thirty days before going to prison to take care of his wife, who fell a week ago and broke her hip. Judge Nunn denied the request.
"The state appreciates that sentence and believes it's a fair sentence." says Assistant District Attorney Clif Woody.
"They'd asked for twenty years serve ten, we asked for twenty years whatever number less than ten." explains Franklin Hogue.
"I think what helped him was he is eighty-four years old and did live an otherwise good life as I argued. These were as the judge said crimes that couldn't be ignored." says Hogue.
Simmons was taken into custody immediately following the hearing. He was a prominent businessman in the International City and was a longtime announcer for Warner Robins High School football. If Simmons serves all eight years he'll be 92 when he is released.