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DeKalb County police officer charged with child molestation

A veteran DeKalb County police officer has been charged with child molestation after police said he showed pornography to a 13-year-old girl and tried to undress her. The 49-year-old man resigned his position with the police department after 18 years on the job. Police said he admitted to the charges, but the man's attorney disputed that, saying the man has not confessed.

The incident allegedly took place at the man's home in September 2012. According to the charges, the man allowed the girl to watch pornography with him and then kissed her neck, touched and tried to undress her. The girl reported the incident to her mother about a year later, and was later interviewed by police. The man's attorney disputes the girl's account and says that the man's daughter was present at the time of the alleged incident and that this makes it unlikely that he would have had sexual contact with the girl.

Georgia can be very serious about allegations of sex crimes, but perhaps never more so than when the allegations concern child sexual abuse. Those accused of these crimes suffer immediate damage to their personal and professional life. If convicted, they may face long prison sentences and large fines. Even after release, they may be listed on a sex offender registry for decades to come, further damaging their chances of finding quality employment and housing so that they can rebuild their lives.

The public has little sympathy for those accused of sex crimes against children. Still, those accused of these crimes are entitled to a defense. It's crucial that Georgia residents accused of these crimes build the strongest defense they can, and start working on it as soon as possible.

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Bond set for DeKalb cop arrested on child molestation charge," Marcus K. Garner, Oct. 24, 2013

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