FORSYTH COUNTY — A Tennessee doctor accused of sex crimes against a minor in Forsyth County was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison.
According to court records, John C. Neale was convicted of three counts of child molestation that involved a 6-year-old female relative.
The well-known psychiatrist from Johnson City, Tenn., was 74 at the time of his arrest in November 2012, according to an article in The Johnson City Press.
“Once he was caught, other people came forward with allegations of abuse dating way back,” said Sandra Partridge, Forsyth’s chief assistant district attorney.
However, Neale could only be tried for one case in Georgia since the other incidents occurred in Tennessee.
Partridge said Tennessee did not bring charges against Neale, but alleged victims were able to testify in the Georgia case because of a state code that allows relevant offenses to be used as evidence.
His 50 years of psychiatry practice gave him expertise in keeping his victims quiet, Partridge said.
While the trial was expected to last until Thursday, the verdict arrived two days earlier. Chief Judge Jeffrey Bagley presided over the proceedings.
“We were all pleased there was justice in this case finally,” Partridge said. “He’s gotten away with it for 50 years, and it’s about time.”