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Kevin Lance McLaine, sentenced to 41 years for crimes against children in Clinch County

Alapaha Judicial Circuit District Attorney Chase L. Studstill announces the conviction by jury and sentencing of a former substitute teacher for crimes against children.

On May 10, 2023, after a three day trial, a Clinch County jury took less than an hour to Kevin Lance McLaine guilty of two counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual battery against a child under 16 years of age, and sexual battery.

On June 6, 2023, Senior Superior Court Judge Howard McClain, who presided over the trial, sentenced defendant McLaine to 41 years with the first 31 years to be served in the Department of Corrections.Defendant Mclaine worked in the Clinch County School Systerm as a substitute teacher at the time of the conduct leading to his conviction. Evidence presented at trial showed that between October 2018, and December 2019, McLaine inappropriately touched three female students who were 5, 12, and 17 years of age, respectively. He was subsequently arrested on January 6, 2020 and his trial began on May 8, 2023.

All three of the minor victims testified during the trial. According to members of the jury, the victim testimony had a “significant impact” on their deliberations and ultimately their guilty verdict. McLaine chose not to testify during his trial.

District Attorney Studstill stated, “We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict and the sentence in this case. The courage demonstrated by these girls and their families to come and face their abuser in court was critical to obtaining this verdict. Assistant District Attorney Laura Wood tried this case did an excellent job. It is always difficult to take a case that is several years old and have it successfully prosecuted. I am also proud of the hard work of Victim Advocate Ina Thomas and Administrative Assistant Joann Bell in seeing this case through to a successful conclusion. I also want to thank the Clinch County Sheriff’s Office and the Satilla Advocacy Center in Waycross for their efforts on the investigation. Crimes against children, especially those committed by persons in positions of trust, will be fully prosecuted by my office and will not be tolerated in our community.”

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