On November 30, 2022, Wesley Lebron Romine was convicted by a Walker County Jury of Rape, Aggravated Sexual Battery, Aggravated Sodomy, Aggravated Child Molestation, Sexual Battery against a Child and Child Molestation.
The jury deliberated only a short time before rendering their verdicts.
The case came to light after a juvenile relative showed Snapchat photos to her father of Romine touching her in inappropriate ways.
The matter was immediately reported to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office where Detective Sergeant Pepper Stanfield was assigned to conduct a follow up investigation. The child victim was interviewed by Holly Kittle, a forensic interviewer with the Lookout Mountain Children’s Advocacy Center. The victim, a very intelligent and articulate 13 year old, disclosed that Romine had been molesting her since she was very young. She was a frequent visitor to his home and was continually sexually abused over an 8 year period of time. In her testimony at trial, the victim told the jury she had taken the photos of Romine molesting her with her cell phone because she was afraid no one would believe her without them.
The trial lasted 3 days and included testimony from two other close adult family members who recounted years of abuse at the hands of Wesley Romine. This testimony was admitted by the Court under O.C.G.A. § 24-4-413 and 414, which allows juries to hear evidence of other sexual acts and crimes committed by a defendant. After the verdict was announced, one of the close family members stated, ”we can now have closure and know that someone finally believed us.”
The Honorable Don W. Thompson sentenced Romine to 5 consecutive Life sentences, followed by 63 years. All to be served in prison. The case was presented to the jury by Assistant District Attorneys Bruce Roberts and Ansley House, with support from Victim/Witness advocate Cindy Clark and DA Investigator Christy Smith.
District Attorney Arnt stated “This case shows the true devastation that child sexual abuse causes. Two women have spent most of their lives trying to cope with what this child molester did to them; and even though it had been well over thirty years since this defendant last molested them, both of these witnesses broke down in tears when describing their abuse at the defendant’s hands. Successful prosecution of these cases takes a team effort to gather the necessary evidence and put together a compelling case. We are blessed to have one of the absolute best Children’s Advocacy Centers in the State to work with. Thanks to the efforts of Detective Stanfield, and ADAs Bruce Roberts and Ansley House this predator’s reign of abuse is ended.”