Plea deal gets 2018 Felker Park sexual predator 50 years to serve at least 25

Deonta.Branch

WALTON COUNTY, GA (June 21, 2022) – Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randy McGinley announced that cooperation between law enforcement and the DA Investigator’s insistence in helping apprehend a violent sexual criminal led to the arrest and now guilty plea in the Felker Park sexual assaults that unnerved the community in 2018.

“In October of 2018, a man sexually assaulted multiple women in Felker Park in Monroe, GA in broad daylight. One of the assaults was stopped by good Samaritans who ran to the victim’s aid when they heard her screaming. Due to these events, the Monroe Police Department began the investigation after the first incident and provided more of a presence in the Park,” McGinley said in a press release.

With the assistance of Chief Investigator Josh Chambers, now Chief Assistant District Attorney Cliff Howard and DA Investigator Aimee Oliver, Deonta Branch was taken down on Oct. 29, 2018 after a third day in a row that there were assaults or attempted assaults in Felker Park.

“At lunch time that day, DA Investigator Aimee Oliver went to Felker Park to walk the track, and to be there if there was another incident involving this individual. While walking the track, Investigator Oliver observed a man matching the description from the previous victims sitting in an area that was concealed. After Oliver passed him, he began to follow her. Investigator Oliver then sent a text message to other DA Investigators who quickly responded to that area,” McGinley said in the press release. “As Investigator Oliver made it to the top of a hill on the track, she did not see the man following her anymore. Chief Investigator Chambers, as he was heading towards Oliver’s location, observed a different female walking on the track with this same man following her. As Chambers got close to the woman, he asked her if she knew the man behind her. The female stated that she did not. Chambers then detained the man who was later identified as Deonta Branch.”

Sketch of suspect in Felker Park sexual assaults. Deonte Branch, 37, was subsequently arrested in connection with the assaults.

McGinley said one of the prior victims identified Branch as the assailant and another was assisted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in making a sketch of her assailant. MPD handled the arrest and investigation before turning the case over to the DA’s office for prosecution.

Branch was indicted in January of 2019, later pleading not guilty and preparing for trial. However, the trial was delayed due Covid.

On June 15, 2022, just prior to selecting a jury, Branch changed his plea to Guilty for Criminal Attempt to Commit Rape, Aggravated Assault with Intent to Rape, Criminal Attempt to Commit Aggravated Sexual Battery, and 3 counts of Sexual Battery. McGinley said Branch was sentenced to a total of 50 years with the first 25 years to serve in prison. On his release, Branch is banned from the Alcovy Judicial Circuit (Newton and Walton Counties) and to have no contact with the victims. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Fletcher, Investigator Aimee Oliver, Victim Services Director Kim Kelly, and Legal Assistant Melanie Sims.

“I am so proud of the hard-work of my Office in this case. I am especially grateful for Investigator Oliver for putting herself in potential harm’s way to help apprehend a violent sexual predator. Her hard work, along with Chief Investigator Chambers, other investigators from my Office, and the excellent work by Chief Watts and the Monroe Police Department, this case was resolved with an admission of guilt and an appropriate sentence for the crimes. This is another example that justice is best achieved when law enforcement agencies work together,” McGinley said.

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