Macon – Bibb County jurors returned a guilty verdict Wednesday in the trial for a Hawkinsville man who 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.
Prosecutors Cara Fiore and Dorothy Hull presented evidence during the two-day trial showing:
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.
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.”
Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta FBI field office, Chris Hacker, said, “This case is a perfect example of how partnerships between the FBI and our state and local law enforcement agencies are vital in protecting our citizens and in particular, children, our most vulnerable citizens. Conatser’s sentence is the result of a larger effort to stop the sexual exploitation of children occurring in various Macon area hotels and wouldn’t have been possible without those partnerships.”
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack