GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A man in Gwinnett County was sentenced to life in prison for molesting his fiancée’s 11-year-old daughter, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
The trial revealed a number of disturbing details, according to the district attorney’s office.
The girl told her mother that the man, Darrell McDaniel, “had been teaching her about sex" and performing sexual acts, the district attorney’s office said.
A trial summary released Friday said the girl was at first reluctant to tell her mother about the abuse because she thought it would make her mad.
When she opened up, she revealed McDaniel had told her “she needed to get used to it because her boyfriends were going to want to do that to her.”
The abuse had been going on for months, the girl told her mother. She told medical examiners later that the abuse included McDaniel touching her and him exposing himself to her and making her touch him.
Their identities are not being released out of respect for their privacy. The district attorney’s office said the abuse always occurred while the mother was away from the home.
When the mother confronted McDaniel, he allegedly said, “I’m being set up!”
When police contacted him, he claimed the victim was making things up because she was mad at him for punishing her, and “got the idea because her softball coach had been arrested for touching little girls.”
McDaniel did not testify during his trial. His defense argued that he had been an exemplary stepfather, in contrast to her biological father who had been violent domestically and had substance abuse issues.
The jury, however, convicted McDaniel on four of the six counts he faced, including aggravated sexual battery and three counts of child molestation.
Judge Karen Byers gave him life because, she said, he failed to take responsibility and forced his victim to take the stand and recount the abuse.
McDaniel will be eligible for parole in 30 years. He is 49 years old.