By Monica Land
COLUMBUS – A 73-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping his granddaughter nearly two years ago. It only took a jury 15 minutes to decide David Arthur Gill’s fate during his trial in Lowndes County Circuit Court.
Gill’s granddaughter, and the friend she told about the incidents, both took the stand and testified against Gill, court officials said.
No witnesses testified on Gill’s behalf.
Authorities said Gill was first arrested after he was indicted by the Lowndes County Grand Jury in 2010, and his bond was set at $40,000.
Detective James Faris, of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department, said charges against Gill were made on June 10, 2010 after his granddaughter reported the rape to authorities.
“The granddaughter went to a friend’s house and told her friend about it and the friend took her to the hospital,” Faris said.
Lowndes County investigators were called to a hospital in Clay County where the teen was being treated for the sexual assault.
“They did a normal sexual assault kit on her and I spoke with her there,” Faris said. “And I told her once she was released to come [to the sheriff’s office] and speak to me.”
Faris said the teen and her father, Gill’s son, lived with Gill at his home in the 7700 block of Gilmer Wilburn Road, in Artesia.
The teen’s father was often away at work and that’s when the teen said the assaults took place.
“She claimed it happened more than once,” Faris said. “Her dad was working out of town and the alleged assaults occurred within the last six or seven months [of her reporting it].”
Faris did not state, pending the investigation, why the teen waited until the last assault to report the incidents or why Gill was not arrested on June 10. But he did say Gill allegedly confessed to the crimes and after the case was presented to the grand jury he was indicted and arrested.
Gil was scheduled to appear in court in November 2010, but his case was continued several times.