Persons numbering in the double digits were apparently involved in recent arrests made in connection with suspected illicit online activities. Three of the accused pleaded guilty on a recent Wednesday for the alleged sex crimes. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and other authorities arrested 22 individuals in May resulting from a child sex sting operation.
Authorities say that agents posed as underage girls online, attempting to gain contact with adults who might want to engage in sexual interactions with minors. Investigators are said to have created their own online pages, and also commented on the pages of others in order to establish a connection with the potential suspects. The respective ages of the three who were recently convicted and sentenced were 25, 41 and 52.
Among those convicted were a truck driver, the owner of a restaurant and a former jailer for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Each of them was sentenced to eights years in prison, followed by probation. Reportedly, the majority of the accused individuals have no prior criminal record.
The potential penalties incurred when a conviction for sex crimes is secured in Georgia include lengthy prison terms and severe restriction of personal freedoms. Still, each person is able to build a strong defense against charges by consulting with an experienced criminal lawyer before court proceedings. Based on a clear understanding of the law and litigation experience in the courtroom, a defense attorney would be able to determine what options might be available toward protecting a defendant’s best interests and obtaining as positive an outcome as possible in court.
Source: chronicle.augusta.com, “3 arrested in online child sex sting plead guilty”, Sandy Hodson, Jan. 13, 2016
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