In a case that at first glance appears strikingly similar to that of former prep football star Marcus D. Dixon, the Supreme Court of Georgia handed down a very different result Monday, upholding the 10-year mandatory minimum sentence of a young man convicted of felony child molestation for having oral sex with a 14-year-old girl when he was 18.

Where Dixon was able to successfully argue that the Georgia Legislature couldn’t have meant to impose a 10-year mandatory sentence for his sexual encounter with a 15-year-old schoolmate at age 18, the slightly greater age difference between Joshua Ray Widner and his young sexual partner limited the arguments that Widner could make on appeal.

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