Craig Alan Ellett, 55, of Tucker, was sentenced Wednesday to a life sentence of 30 years in prison after being convicted of aggravated sodomy and aggravated child molestation of a 5-year-old girl. He had been held without bond in Cobb County Jail since his March 2013 arrest.
“A wolf in sheep’s clothing; that’s what he is,” Senior Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Odom told jurors during the trial. “He infiltrates lives, he grooms children and then he abuses them.”
The victim, who is now 6, is the granddaughter of Ellett’s girlfriend, said Kim Isaza, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office. Though the child’s grandmother, who lived in Gwinnett County, did not live with the victim at the time, Odom presented evidence Ellett had become “one of the family,” Isaza said, and had just dropped in for a visit the day the crime took place.
In February 2013, the girl testified that when she was alone in her bedroom at a Smyrna apartment the man she called ‘Pops’ committed a sex act with her, Isaza said. Jurors also saw a videotaped forensic interview of the child, in which she said he touched her inappropriately. In the interview, the girl gave “sensory details that a 5-year-old wouldn’t have known, unless she experienced it,” Odom said.
Defense attorney Cindi Yeager told jurors Ellett was an emergency medical technician and a veteran who served two tours in Iraq. In 1996, Ellett pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor child molestation charges in California and was sentenced to 12 months probation, Isaza said.
The California victim, now an adult, was a neighbor of Ellett’s and testified in the Cobb County case, Isaza said.
Should Ellett live to be released from prison, he will be subject to sex-offender restrictions, including registering as a sex offender, and he will be on probation until he dies, Isaza said.