Sixteen-year-old Scott Kenneth Winebrinner faces five counts of aggravated sodomy, five counts of aggravated child molestation and four counts of child molestation.
“He will be tried as an adult. It does meet the criteria as one of the seven ‘deadly’ sins, where juveniles are automatically bumped up to superior court and tried as an adult,” LaFayette police captain Stacey Meeks said. “There were various sexual acts performed.”
Winebrinner lives in the Reading Circle housing complex in LaFayette where he allegedly befriended two boys (ages 7 and 8).
Winebrinner initially touched and kissed the two victims; that escalated to oral sex and sodomy within five to six weeks, Meeks said. Winebrinner was 15 years old at the time, Meeks said.
“It was multiple encounters and each one got progressively worse,” Meeks said.
Winebrinner was arrested in May and the case went before a grand jury in June, according to Meeks. Walker County Superior Court granted a continuance in the case, as requested by Winebrinner’s court-appointed attorney, last week. A plea deal could be considered prior to the next trial date in spring 2013, unless another continuance is necessary, according to Meeks.
The case will go to trial in the next few weeks in the event a plea isn’t sought.
Winebrinner confessed to the charges while being interviewed with his mother, during which he stated that he had been molested (along with his sister) by his father, who later served time in prison, according to Meeks.
“I think a lot of it is learned and repetitive behavior. This kid is sixteen. He was been victimized when he was younger,” Meeks said.
Meeks believes that the reclusive nature of Winebrinner’s mother left the teen unsupervised and able to behave in any manner he wanted.
“One of the victims (the 7-year-old) became distraught about it,” Meeks said. “He got to school and started talking about it, verbalizing it to a teacher, which sent him to the school counselor and he confided in the counselor.”
School personnel are required to report any suspicion of child abuse to law enforcement officials.
Meeks commends the child for coming forward to officials. “That’s what broke this case open,” Meeks said.
After the brief disclosure interview with LaFayette police, the two victims were taken to the Child Advocacy Center in Fort Oglethorpe, where specially trained forensic interviewers conduct interviews after building rapport with the children. The process is to ascertain what happened without any leading questions to influence the child.
A third potential child victim surfaced during the investigation, but that child did not disclose any details when interviewed by law enforcement officials, according to Meeks.