COBB COUNTY, Ga. —  A 34-year-old man will spend at least 12 years of a decades-long sentence behind bars after he was convicted of molesting a girl in a pool at a birthday party.

Prosecutors said a jury found Nicholas Scott Jannotte guilty of two counts of child molestation for his actions at a 2017 birthday party.

During the event in June of that year, the 11-year-old victim said that Jannotte first exposed himself while she was swimming underwater with goggles on.  He then grabbed her in a private area.

She told her parents afterward and then told members of SafePath Children's Advocacy Center after they called the police. Police said the little girl gave a very detailed description of what happened.

"It was quite clear that this predator waited for his opportunity to take advantage of this child, and that he thought he could get away with it," Assistant District Attorney Ashton Murphy said. "But this child was brave enough to come forward and face him."

Jannotte was sentenced as a convicted recidivist - or convicted criminal who offends again - to 40 years with 12 years to serve in prison. The rest will be on probation and he will be required to register as a sex offender and face all the restrictions that designation entails.

Jannotte has been in jail since 2017 and will get credit for the time he has already served.

Assistant District Attorney Murphy said the child's bravery to tell someone what happened to her was what ultimately allowed this conviction to happen.

"The community is safer because of her courage," Murphy said.

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