Effingham Resident Gets 25-Year Sentence for Abusing Daughter


Published on November 9 2017 3:18 pm
Last Updated on November 9 2017 3:18 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

An Effingham resident has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing his daughter.

34-year-old Dennis Michael Moulton pleaded guilty to a count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Moulton's daughter was 11 years old when the pattern of abuse began, according to information shared at Moulton's sentencing hearing Thursday afternoon.

There was information shared that Moulton had minimal contact with the girl for a nine-year period due to custody matters, but he gained custody in recent years. Effingham County Sheriff's Department Detective Travis Monnet testified that Moulton admitted to a series of sexual encounters that occurred when no one else was at home.

Moulton pleaded guilty in September and prosecutors agreed to a 30-year cap on the sentence.

At Thursday's sentencing hearing, Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler argued for the full 30-year sentence, while Effingham County Public Defender Scott Schmidt sought the minimum six-year sentence. Following the hearing, Kibler said he respected the sentence imposed by Judge Allan Lolie.

In imposing sentence, Lolie said the 30-year term sought by Kibler was "reasonable". He said Moulton admitted that the incidents involving his daughter occurred more than 10 times and said he felt Moulton could have been charged on each of those offenses. 

All parties, though, said they agreed to the negotiated plea since it eliminated the need for the girl to testify in a trial.

Moulton has served 278 days in jail awaiting disposition of his case. With the statute requiring that he serve at least 85% of his sentence, Lolie said Moulton would serve at least 21 years, three months in prison. He will be placed on three years to life mandatory supervised release once out of prison, and will be listed as a sex offender.

The child's mother said after the hearing that it was a "big sigh of relief that he got as much as he got."