Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. March 21 announced the child molestation conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court jury, of 38-year-old Shakir Cole. Following his conviction, Cole was sentenced to 100 years in prison, to serve 95 with the balance on probation.
Sept. 18, 2015, Cole called the 13-year-old daughter of his girlfriend’s close friend, to see if the teen would be willing to babysit. Cole requested that the 13-year-old watch he and his girlfriend’s two children, and she agreed. That day, while she was babysitting, the 13-year-old was sitting on the couch watching television when Cole approached. The defendant sat next to the victim, grabbed her leg and began to rub his penis with her foot.
The victim, scared and unsure of what to do, pretended to sleep. Cole continued to sexually assault the girl as he rubbed her buttocks and vagina. Eventually, the 13-year-old girl left the living area, entered a guest room and cried herself to sleep. None of the victims mentioned in this article are being identified because they are minors.
The following day, the 13-year-old victim returned and immediately told her friend and her mother what had happened. The victim’s mother transported her to the Sandy Springs Police Department and an investigation ensued. The department released information about the case to the local media and asked for help in locating the defendant. Through the course of this release of information, two other victims came forward.
Victim No. 2, who was 16 at the time, came forward and said Cole also molested her while she babysat his children. Like Victim No. 1, Victim No. 2 said on July 20, 2015, Cole used her foot to caress his penis. The 16-year-old was uncomfortable with Cole’s actions and moved to a separate room. Cole followed the girl into that room and molested her again, but later stopped when his children awoke.
Victim No. 3’s mother had been friends with Cole for more than a decade. When the mother realized that the defendant had access to her child during that 10-year period, she discussed the matter with her 12-year-old daughter, Victim No. 3. The victim eventually disclosed that Cole had in fact, molested her on several different occasions. Cole also used Victim No. 3’s foot to caress his penis.
Following the guilty verdict, one of the victims said, “We are finally putting away a man that has been preying on innocent women and children. We couldn’t have done it without the courage of our girls and with the help of Assistant District Attorney Shaniqua Christian and Deputy Chief Investigator Donna Kimbrell, who treated our children as if they were their own. Above all else, we thank God for giving us the strength and protection to see justice is served for, not only our girls but any other girls that have yet to come forward.”