James K. Mitchell will spend years, maybe decades, in prison for what he did to three sisters under his care.
Mitchell, 41, pleaded guilty last week to two counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of child molestation and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes. His former wife, 42-year-old Candice McMillan, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of cruelty to children for failure to report the abuse.
Mitchell got 20 years in prison, followed by 20 years’ probation, for inappropriately touching the children and showing them pornography. McMillan received 10 months incarceration.
“I’m glad he’s in prison for a really, really long time and the girls are safe from him,” said Assistant District Attorney Sadhana Dailey.
The abuse occurred between May 2004 and April 2005, when the then 12-, 11- and 5-year-old girls lived with Mitchell and McMillan in their South Columbus home. The molestation wasn’t immediately reported until the victims moved to New York, where they eventually did talk about the abuse, Dailey said. Authorities then contacted Columbus law enforcement, leading to the pair’s arrest.
“Part of the reason James Mitchell pled guilty was because Candice McMillan was going to testify against him,” Dailey said. “She was being beaten by this James K. Mitchell. The girls confirmed. When she would try to object, then he would beat Candice McMillan and the girls would witness that.”
McMillan implicated her former husband upon her 2007 arrest and showed a willingness to testify against him. Mitchell pleaded guilty July 14 before Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters, who then sentenced him.