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Ex-mentor gets 25 years in child sex case

A former school mentor, and retired Army attorney, was sentenced Friday to 55 years for molesting a fourth-grade boy.

Adrian Zakaluzny, 66, of Riverdale, was convicted Aug. 15 on three counts of child molestation and one of aggravated battery involving the boy, now 13.

Clayton County Assistant District Attorney Katie Powers said Zakaluzny will serve 25 years in prison, followed by the balance on probation.

Zakaluzny mentored the child, who was 9 when the abuse began, as a volunteer at Daughtry Elementary School in Butts County. Jurors heard how Zakaluzny befriended the child and his family and gained their trust.

The boy spent almost every weekend at Zakaluzny's home, and went out of town with him without the child's family, said prosecutors. The child was also forced to shower and share a bed with Zakaluzny.

Zakaluzny told the boy to keep their activities a secret, prosecutors said. He was arrested at his home in January 2009.

He was represented in court by Jonesboro attorney, Steve Lister.

Zakaluzny is retired from the U.S. Army, where he was an attorney with the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He was previously stationed at Fort McPherson.

He got a commendation in 1981 for pulling three people from a burning car in Illinois, according to an Army newsletter.

— Kathy Jefcoats