Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Wayne Cservak

Other Georgia Cases
In February 1997, the 13-year-old son of Wayne Cservak’s girlfriend accused Cservak of molesting him repeatedly in the boy's home in Dalton, Georgia.

They arrested Cservak, who was 21 years old, on February 28, 1997. Police found semen on the rug of the room where the boy said he was molested, but Cservak’s attorney failed to request testing of the semen.

Cservak went to trial in Whitfield County Superior Court. The boy testified that he was molested repeatedly over a two-week period when he was sleeping on a couch in the living room. However, his testimony was not consistent. He gave different explanations for why he was sleeping on the couch. He said a cousin was visiting and was staying in his room, but at another point, he said he slept on the couch because he was afraid of ghosts in his room.

When asked why he didn’t cry out immediately, the boy replied, “Go figure.” He later said he was scared and he didn't think anyone would believe him "because of the past and just about everybody in my family had been molested, but they didn't tell nobody."

Cservak testified and denied that he molested the boy.

During jury deliberations, one of the jurors, 69-year-old Jim Thomas, was the lone holdout for more than six hours, refusing to vote to convict Cservak. He later said he found Cservak more credible than the boy. Ultimately, Thomas agreed to vote to convict and Cservak was found guilty in May 1997.

Thomas appeared at the sentencing hearing and told the judge that he was browbeaten by the other jurors into voting to convict Cservak. He said he believed Cservak was innocent. Although Cservak faced a sentence of 100 years in prison, the judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison without parole.

Thomas later said that he consulted with his children about spending their inheritance to hire an appellate attorney for Cservak. When his children told him to “go for it,” Thomas hired the attorney. Thomas later said, "I had my own gut feelings about this trial. And I knew I had to convince these other people that a molestation didn't occur. But I didn't get anywhere. And after a while, I realized it wasn't going to get anywhere.”

"I felt I was unable to convince any of my fellow jurors, so I gave in to their views," he said. "But after the verdict was read in the courtroom, I still felt it was a miscarriage of justice."

Several months later, Cservak was granted a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial defense attorney failed to have the semen tested and failed to explore the fact that another man who was a convicted child molester was also living in the home at the time of the alleged molestations.

A week after the new trial was granted, the boy recanted and told prosecutors he had never been molested. He said he made up the accusation because Cservak and his mother were planning to marry, and he wanted to prevent that from happening.

On December 29, 1997, the prosecution dismissed the charges and Cservak was released.

– Maurice Possley

Report an error or add more information about this case.

Posting Date:  Before June 2012
Last Updated: 9/1/2021
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1997
Sentence:10 years
Age at the date of reported crime:21
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No