David Randy Sabby, 49, was sentenced Wednesday in Douglas County Superior Court to 80 years in prison – 60 years of which must be served.
Before Judge David Emerson’s sentence was announced, Sabby denied any wrongdoing, alleging prosecutorial misconduct, claiming an inadequate defense and that a “new wave cult” brainwashed the victim into thinking he had sexually abused her.
Sabby was convicted on two counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of child molestation, one count of incest and one count of statutory rape in a 12-day trial earlier this month.
The 49-year-old former airline pilot was found guilty of acts in which his stepdaughter was victimized and made to exchange sex for grades, clothes and other privileges. The sexual acts occurred when the family lived in Villa Rica in 2006 and 2007.
Sabby previously entered a guilty plea on a charge of criminal sexual conduct and is currently serving 144 months in Grant and Otter Tail counties in Minnesota.
In the Douglas County trial, the jury heard from his stepdaughter, now 20 years old, who testified that she was sexually abused “as long as I can remember.”
Douglas County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Kegley said Sabby should “never get the chance to harm another child.”
“This individual is deserving of a life sentence,” Kegley said. “That’s not the way it’s stated, but we ask for 80 years, with a mandatory 60 to be served. So this individual would be approximately 109 years old before there would even be a possibility of release. It’s technically not a life sentence, but in reality it would be just that.
“This individual does not need to ever be released to endanger a child again. ... The court heard from other victims that showed a pervasive, perverse pattern of behavior that goes back decades. He’s not being sentenced on those, but the victim in this case has suffered a lifetime abuse and this sentence would make sure that she could never be harmed by him again.”
Sabby, who didn’t testify during the trial but was constantly writing notes and whispering to his defense attorney Ed Napier, then went off on a lengthy speech, taking a shot at about everyone connected with the case.
“I was denied my Sixth Amendment right to effectiveness of counsel, not because anything that Mr. Napier did, but he was given in essence two weeks to prepare for a trial. I asked if we had an investigator to help us with the case and Mr. Napier said he wasn’t given money for that and we didn’t have time. ... I asked about a psychological evaluations ... and again I was told there wasn’t money for that and we didn’t have the time.”
Sabby accused Kegley of prosecutorial misconduct because he called the victim’s basement bedroom in Villa Rica a “dungeon.” He said the court erred by allowing information from incidents in Minnesota to be allowed into evidence and he said “I truly believe that this verdict will be overturned on appeal.”
But it was his words about the victim, with Sabby often smiling at Kegley and Emerson, that turned heads in court.
“(She) is a victim, but not by my hand,” Sabby said. “But instead she is the victim of a radical new wave cult that brainwashed her, convincing her that she was subjected to a lifetime of abuse by me. The fact that this was said to be irrelevant and not allowed to be presented shows ignorance on the matter.
“Your honor, I am not guilty of these charges,” Sabby said. “You have the power to set aside verdicts such as this one which are wrong and unjust. I pray that you will see fit to do that. But if not, I leave it in God’s hands.”
Emerson flipped through law books, viewed the law on his computer and then instructed Sabby to listen very carefully.
“These charges were filed in October of 2009 – so they are not new,” Emerson said. “The state of Minnesota extradited you and gave us 120 days to try this case and that has been done. There was never any request made for an evaluation and I saw no evidence of incompetence on your part. I saw no inability to communicate with your attorney or the court. In fact I saw quite the opposite.
“There was never any request for an investigator and I really don’t know what an investigator could have done except give you something else to complain about.”
Emerson then handed down the sentence and explained the Georgia law on appeals.
Sabby was led from the courtroom in shackles and his khaki jumpsuit without any words or expression.
He will be returned to Minnesota to complete his sentence there and then brought back to Georgia to begin his 60 years, officials confirmed. He is not allowed to have any type of contact with the victim, or anyone of the women who testified against him in this case and was ordered to undergo mandatory sexual predator’s counseling while incarcerated.