Abbate sentencing set for Tuesday

By Kelsey Cochran


McDONOUGH — A Stockbridge shooting coach convicted last week of molesting one of his teenaged students will appear in a Henry County courtroom one more time as a judge hands down his sentence.

Billy Abbate, 47, was acquitted on Feb. 7 of 23 other charges that he had sex with the girl, who was 15 years old at the time.

The girl took the stand during the trial, and told the jury she believed Abbate loved her and they would one day marry.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in Henry County Superior Court.

If he is given the maximum allowable sentence, Abbate could spend up to 20 years in prison for the crime.

He still faces similar pending charges in the state of Virginia, the girl’s home state.