Diego Martin Pena
(Whitfield County DA’s Office)

The Chatsworth Times has reported that a convicted child molester from Bartow County has had his sentencing delayed.

39-year-old Diego Martin Pena of 193 Bells Ferry Road in White was convicted by a Murray County jury on October 13th for offenses against a single victim. Sentencing had been set for November 22nd, but has now been delayed until January 3rd. Pena is facing a life sentence on aggravated child molestation and 20 years for both statutory rape and child molestation, which could run consecutively.

The investigation began in 2012 when the victim was 15 after reports were presented through Murray County Schools. The victim was pregnant at the time but it was initially believed that the father of the child was a classmate of similar age.

In 2014, after the victim had moved out of state, paternity testing revealed that Pena was the child’s father. That revelation led the Murray County Sheriff’s Office to reopen their investigation and request additional DNA testing through the Georgia State Crime Lab.

The district attorney said the sexual acts occurred between 2008 and 2011 when the victim was 11 to 14 years of age. The District Attorney’s Office sought an indictment once the Georgia DNA testing was completed in early 2015.