Donald Raye Church has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to over 33 years by Judge Matthew Bailey in the Decatur Superior Court. Church was convicted of two counts of Child Molesting as Level 1 felonies and also of Domestic Battery and Intimidation as Level 5 felonies in a separate case. For the Level 5 felonies, Church received an agreed sentence of three and a half years, including his credit time
while he’s been held in the Decatur County Jail. Church also pleaded guilty to molesting two different children, and his sentence in that cause is 30 total years in the Department of Correction, with no credit time applied. Church will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Prosecuting Attorney Nate Harter lauded the efforts by Chief Deputy Doug Brown, who represented the State in this case. “These most serious of cases are emotionally taxing and require serious investment of focus, time, and energy. I am proud of the work Doug does on a regular basis to serve as a fierce advocate for justice. At the same time, he works well with victims of crime to ensure that their voices are heard and they are not retraumatized by the process.” Church was accused of engaging in “other sexual conduct” repeatedly over a period from 2017 to 2019 with two child victims, one born in 2004 and the other born in 2006. Because of the age of the children, Church will receive less credit time during his incarceration in prison than most felons.
Decatur County Prosecuting Attorney Nate Harter wants to recognize law enforcement personnel for their hard work on these cases, specifically lead investigator DCSD Detective Jean Burkert for the Child Molesting case and a team of Sheriff’s Deputies Goodfellow, Organist, and Workman for their work on the Domestic Battery and Intimidation case. Said Harter, “I remain moved by the bravery that child victims show when they come forward. I hate that crimes like this occur in our community, but we are all glad that we were able in this instance to pursue and secure justice for these two survivors of heinous acts.”