NWGA Scanner | March 15th, 2022

Dalton man convicted in Whitfield County of child molestation sentenced to 19-years in prison

A 55-year-old Dalton man has been sentenced to serve 19 years in prison followed by one year on probation for child molestation. Anthony Marshall Ponders, of 310 Jericho Way, was sentenced on Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris. Georgia law requires that at a minimum, the defendant receive one year on probation to help facilitate their return to the community from the prison system, and their registry as a sex offender so this represents the maximum sentence allowed by law. Ponders was convicted by a Whitfield County Jury last Thursday following a trial that had begun that Tuesday. Assistant District Attorney and Child Abuse Prosecutor Ben Kenemer presented the state’s case at trial and at sentencing. The defendant was represented by Dalton attorney Jerry Moncus. The charge involved allegations that Ponders had exposed himself to an underage child.  The act was witnessed by a family member who walked in on Ponders at that moment and then asked the child what had occurred. That led to a call which was answered by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Brian Pack led the initial response and assisted Kenemer with presenting the case to the jury. Prosecutor Kenemer called 13 other witnesses to testify including a previous victim who had been sexually assaulted by Ponders as a child.  The case had to be tried twice because at the first trial in January, some evidence concerning another prior victim which had been excluded was inadvertently introduced when it was mentioned in a videotaped interview with another witness. Prosecutor Kenemer himself advised the Court of that error before any defense objection which led to a declaration of mistrial and the second trial in March. Kenemer said he wished to single out Deputy Pack’s assistance in not only investigating this case, but also in presenting it in court. He said, “Brian Pack was eager to see to it that this case was brought to a just conclusion, and did so twice given the first trial resulted in a mistrial.  His assistance in presenting the state’s case was invaluable and I appreciate having members of law enforcement ready and willing to be in the trenches, day in and day out, to see to it justice is served.”