Judge sentences man to life in prison for sexually assaulting granddaughter


On Thursday, May 2, 2024, a Spalding County jury convicted Raymond “Mark” Statham, Sr. of aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery and simple battery.

Judge Ben D. Coker of the Spalding County Superior Court sentenced the defendant to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the aggravated sodomy, 25 years to serve followed by lifetime probation for the aggravated sexual battery, consecutive to the first charge and 12 months to serve each for the sexual battery and simple battery.

The State was represented by Senior Assistant District Attorney Audrey D. Holliday and Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Richardson. Investigator Brad Jones of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case.

The State presented evidence that on the evening of August 6, 2022, Raymond “Mark” Statham, Sr. took advantage of being left alone in his home with his granddaughter. As she was simply trying to get something to drink, in a home she was comfortable in and had been swimming at throughout the day, Mr. Statham grabbed her by her arms and put her down on the couch.

He then proceeded to commit aggravated sodomy and aggravated sexual assault on the victim. During the attack, he also pulled down his pants and pulled out his penis. To further support Mr. Statham’s intent to sexually gratify himself with young girls, the State also presented evidence of an attack Mr. Statham committed on another young girl in 1984.

ADA Holliday stated, “Children should feel comfortable in a family home. Children who call their grandfather, Poppa, should feel comfortable being left alone with him. The actions of Raymond ‘Mark’ Statham, Sr. are despicable and the sentence of the Court sent that message to him. Victims of familial sexual abuse have a scar burned on their souls. Mark Statham, Sr. has forever changed the lives of his victims and our office will continue to support victims of sexual abuse through strong prosecutions.

“My investigator, Misty Gresham, my victim advocate, Dericka Pruitt, my assistant, Lauren Pitner and Inv. Jones worked tirelessly on this case for weeks to reach this conviction and I cannot be more proud of them.

“Children of sexual abuse have a demarcation in their life story — the before and the after. My office will continue to support every victim of sexual abuse that we encounter through not only our services, but also our strong prosecution of every perpetrator of these terrible crimes,” District Attorney Marie Broder said of the crime.