'Otherwise upstanding member of the community' sentenced for sex crime in Houston County

A 40-year-old man named Matthew Ralph Delp has been sentenced in Houston County to 25 years in prison without parole after being convicted on one count of Aggravated Child Molestation. 

After prison, Delp will be on probation for life and will be required to register as a sex offender.

The Houston County DA says DNA evidence linked Delp to the crimes committed against a 14-year-old and he ultimately entered a guilty plea. 

"This is a rare case where we had DNA evidence -- we normally don’t have DNA in these types of cases. I’m glad that Mr. Delp took responsibility for his disgusting actions and I’m grateful that the child can close this chapter of her life. Mr. Delp had no criminal history and was an otherwise upstanding member of the community. This case demonstrates that the perpetrators of sexual abuse on children can be those you least expect. I am grateful for Sgt. Hilton’s hard work on this case and for the work of the Crescent House Child Advocacy Center," Assistant District Attorney Justin C. Duane said in a press release. 

"Our children are our future, we must protect them and be their voice in the court of law. In this case, the Defendant opted out of trial in the 11th hour and took a plea which will keep him locked up behind bars and out of our society for the next 25 years without the opportunity of parole," District Attorney William Kendall said.  

"Our world can be dark at times, and it is up to our community, law enforcement and prosecutors to bring back a bit of light. We cannot undo the heinous acts that have been done, but we hope this helps provide some closure and comfort to our victim and the family," Kendall concluded. 

Sgt. Adrienne Hilton of the Houston County Sheriff's Office investigated the case and Duane was the prosecutor.