Stephen Caporaletti began molesting a girl in 1999, just before her sixth birthday, prosecutors said.
On Tuesday, Caporaletti entered a best-interest plea to child molestation and was sentenced to eight years in prison, followed by seven on probation. The molestation happened between January 1999 and December 2006, when Caporaletti associated with the girl’s family, said Assistant District Attorney Doug Breault.
“This took place many times over many years,” the prosecutor said.
Authorities didn’t learn about the allegations until the girl had moved from Columbus and visited a counselor. She then told someone, an investigation began and Caporaletti was arrested in May 2009, Breault said.
Caporaletti pleaded guilty to one count of child molestation, though defense attorney James Messner noted that it was a best-interest plea. Messner then asked Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan Jr. if he would consider accepting a plea of no contest and reduce the recommended sentence of eight years in prison.
Jordan declined both requests.
“To give you anything less would encourage similar crimes and conduct,” the judge said.
Four counts of aggravated child molestation and a count of child molestation against Caporaletti were dismissed.
Caporaletti must register as a sex offender as part of his sentence.