After another arrest, sheriff explains why there are so many child sex cases
CHATSWORTH, Georgia (WDEF) – The Murray County Sheriff’s Office worked with other agencies to arrest a 58 year old man accused of sexual exploitation of children.
Lester Thomas Edwards, Jr. is currently being held in the Murray county jail without bond. Edwards’ neighbors say they are shocked about the allegations.
John Hicks lives on Buck Lane. He’s been there for 18 years.
“It is a really really nice neighborhood. Everybody gets along very well and we don’t have any problem with thievery or anything like that,” Hicks said.
He was surprised to hear about his neighbor’s arrest.
“That was shocking to me. It was it was really shocking to me because we just don’t have that around here,” Hicks said.
Edwards faces 30 counts of computer child pornography and one count of methamphetamine possession.
Sheriff Gary Langford, with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office, says the investigation into Edward’s activities began in New York state where detectives say he was chatting online with an undercover officer he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
“When you work with other agencies because someone has been in touch with them, someone else has been in touch with them and then they get in touch with us and then we get in touch with them. So when agencies work together in situations like this, usually you can get to the whole truth of it,” Sheriff Langford said.
Investigators say with technology, they are more aware of cases like this.
“It is not a common occurence, but it does occur. With the flow of the Internet, the flow of information from user to offender on the internet, it appears I am going to say more prevalent, but people are paying more attention,” said Chief Deputy Jimmy Davenport, with the Murray County Sheriff’s office.
As for Hicks, he says kids live in the neighborhood and he finds this case concerning.
“Children are our most precious commodity today I think and it is very disturbing to me to see any child abused, harmed in anyway. I don’t like hearing of it,” Hicks said.