Guilty verdict for 54-year-old Georgia man caught in underaged sex sting

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MACON — Bibb County jurors returned a guilty verdict Wednesday in the trial for a Hawkinsville man who prosecutors say traveled to Macon with the intent to have sex with an underaged girl.

David Martin Conatser, 54, was convicted of one count of criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation and one count of computer pornography and child exploitation. A judge sentenced him to 30 years. Conatser must serve first 15 years in prison.

A multi-agency task force, including representatives from the FBI, Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, and the GBI, participated in a March 2015 operation targeting offenders who exploit children. As part of the sting, undercover officers posted an online advertisement for sex with a mother and her 14-year-old daughter.

According to prosecutors, Conatser responded to the advertisement and traveled to Macon to engage in sex acts with the mother and daughter. He was arrested after arriving at the arranged meeting location at a local motel.

Eight defendants prosecuted by the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office as part of the operation have either entered guilty pleas or been found guilty at trial. One case is still pending.

Speaking after the trial, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “This multi-agency operation to capture and convict sexual predators has been very successful. Predators targeting underaged girls should know by now that if they come to Macon looking for victims they’re likely going to prison.”

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