Adrian DeShawn Burney, 38, was convicted March 7 of two counts of child molestation. Burney had lived with the victim at the time of the acts, which started when the girl was 8 years old and continued over four years. The victim disclosed the abuse in 2005, when she was 15, while watching an episode of “Oprah” about child molestation.
In the interim, Burney pleaded guilty to raping two underage girls in Alabama and was serving time there. He was brought to Cobb to face the charges here upon being paroled in Alabama.
Cobb State Court Judge Henry Thompson, sitting as a Superior Court Judge, presided over the trial.
Before imposing the sentence, Thompson told Burney that he had seen, there in the courtroom, the long-lasting consequences of these kinds of crimes.
“You saw the number of potential jurors that had to be excused during jury selection because they or their spouse had been molested as a child and they couldn’t be impartial. Most of them were not young. This stays with people the rest of their lives,” Thompson said.
“Nobody can undo the damage you have done to your victim. I’m not trying to be insulting, but there is something terribly wrong with you. A normal person has compassion for children and a protective instinct, but you have nothing,” Thompson said. “It’s almost like you have a hole in your soul where a normal person keeps that protective instinct for children. I don’t know if there’s any cure for it, but at this point, you are no longer the main concern. The main concern is the protection of society from you.”
Thompson then sentenced Burney to 40 years, with 20 years to serve in custody.
Assistant District Attorney Chuck Boring said the sentence was just.
“He needs to pay for what he did, and society needs to be protected from Mr. Burney,” Boring said.
Burney was represented by Marietta attorney Louis Turchiarelli.