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North Georgia man convicted of statutory rape, aggravated child molestation

District Attorney Bert Poston says last week a Murray County jury convicted Diego Martin Pena of White, Georgia of aggravated child molestation, child molestation, and statutory rape against a single victim. (Images: Whitfield County DA's Office, MGN)

A 39-year-old man from North Georgia faces life in prison after being convicted of aggravated child molestation and statutory rape, the Whitfield County DA's Office announced Tuesday.

District Attorney Bert Poston says last week a Murray County jury convicted Diego Martin Pena of White, Georgia of aggravated child molestation, child molestation, and statutory rape against a single victim.

Poston says that the investigation began in 2012 after reports were presented through Murray County Schools.

The victim was 15-years-old at the time and pregnant. Authorities first thought the father of the child was a classmate of similar age.

In 2014, the victim was moved out of state, and paternity testing revealed that Diego Pena was the father.

The Murray County Sheriff's Office reopened their investigation then, and requested more DNA testing through the Georgia State Crime Lab.

Poston says the investigation revealed that the sexual acts happened between 2008 and 2011, when the victim was 11-14 years old.

The DA's Office called for an indictment once the DNA testing was finished in early 2015.

Pena faces a life sentence for aggravated child molestation, and twenty years for both statutory rape and child molestation.

Pena is currently in the custody of the Murray County Sheriff's Office.

His sentencing hearing will take place on November 22, 2017.

Depend on us to update this story as we learn more.

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