Dade County Man Guilty of Aggravated Child Molestation

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DADE COUNTY, Ga. – A Dade County man was convicted for the molestation of his grandchild during a bench trial before the Honorable Judge Brian House on October 26, 2023.

Ronald Craig Neugard, 76, was convicted of 6 counts including multiple counts of aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, and incest stemming from years of sexual abuse.

The allegations came to light when the child disclosed to the their parents in North Carolina.

North Carolina authorities then interviewed the child and determined that Neugard’s abuse occurred in Dade County, Georgia.

North Carolina law enforcement contacted the Dade County Sheriff’s Office and Detective Misty McConathy began to investigate the allegations that came to light in North Carolina.

Detective McConathy interviewed Neugard where he admitted to molesting his grandchild over a three-
year period when the child would visit him in Dade County.

Due to the refusal of necessary witnesses from the SAFEchild Advocacy Center in North Carolina to participate in the bench trial despite numerous attempts over several months by the LMJC District Attorney’s office to have said witnesses participate, the victim had to take the stand during the bench trial.

The victim provided courageous and emotional testimony as the victim described the years of sexual abuse at the hands of the child’s grandfather.

The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Clayton M. Fuller and he played for Judge House Neugard’s recorded confessions.

Neugard, a military veteran, called several character witnesses who attested to his character based on his previous military service record.

During argument, DA Fuller pointed to the American flag in the courtroom and said “draping yourself in
that flag and using it as a shield as your victim and grandchild devolves into tears is your true service
record.” Judge House then sentenced Neugard to life in prison.

DA Fuller was assisted by Director of Victim and Witness Services Amy Reed and Administrative Assistant Tamara Clayton.

District Attorney Fuller praised the efforts of the Dade County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our sole job in this office is to keep our communities safe. In partnership with the Dade County Sheriff’s Office, we took a predator off the streets who hid beneath the star-spangled camouflage of a patriot. We hope this verdict can bring some sense of justice to this brave victim in this case.”

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