The Daily Citizen
A Tennessee man who prosecutors said had plans to meet an underage girl in Whitfield County for a sexual relationship was sentenced to 18 years on Friday in Superior Court, with eight years in prison.
Travis Raymond Millsaps, 35, of 8517 Hale Road in Hixson, was found guilty by a jury in March of criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation, criminal attempt to commit child molestation and computer and electronic child exploitation.
The "underage girl" was actually an agent working with the Northwest Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said District Attorney Kermit McManus. Prosecutors presented evidence that for four days Millsaps exchanged e-mails and digital photographs, as well as instant messages, with a person he believed to be under the age of 16. McManus said Millsaps made arrangements online and with phone calls to meet the "girl" and then drove from Tennessee to Whitfield County with condoms "for the purpose of engaging in a variety of sexual acts." He was arrested on Aug. 9 in Whitfield County.
McManus called the 45-minute sentencing "lengthy" because family members were allowed to testify about Millsaps' character. Judge Jack Partain handed down the sentence with several conditions that are typical for sex offenders, including: registering as a sex offender, not being around children under 18, not loitering in areas where children are found, not working or volunteering where children are found, using the Internet for work purposes only (including being forbidden from chat rooms) and going through sex offender treatment at his own expense.
After prison, Millsaps will serve the rest of the 18 years on probation. He must pay a $5,000 fine and court surcharges, and must perform 500 hours of community service.
"It will be up to a parole board if he gets out of prison before the eight years are up," McManus said. "The task force, which includes a combination of local law enforcement agencies and the FBI, did an excellent job on the case."
Millsaps' attorney, Bryan Hoss, said he has 30 days to consider appealing the sentence.
"Right not I don't know," he said. "We'll take time to talk to the family and talk to (Millsaps) and make an informed decision."
Hoss said Partain "took the time to listen" to family members.
"We filed 24 or 25 letters (from the family), and five of the jurors even signed a letter asking for mercy," he said. "Judge Partain listened to all the arguments and read the letters, and we appreciate that."