Crawfordville, GA – A 29-year-old Decatur man has been arrested by the GBI on charges related to child sex trafficking after a Georgia State Patrol Trooper and a Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a speeding vehicle on Interstate 20 in Taliaferro County. A 17-year-old juvenile female from Birmingham, Alabama was a passenger in the vehicle, and the Deputy noticed that the juvenile displayed the indicators of commercial sexual exploitation of children that he had learned about in recent training. The juvenile eventually told the Deputy that she was being held against her will for sexual purposes. The Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy had previously attended training classes hosted by the Governor’s Office and the GBI and given by and the Texas Department of Public Safety and GBI agents on the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
The Green County Sheriff’s Office then requested assistance from the GBI’s Child Sex Trafficking Section. After an investigation at the Taliaferro County Sheriff’s Office determined the juvenile was a victim of child sex trafficking, the GBI charged the driver, Johnathon Nathaniel Kelly, with one count of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude. The investigation also revealed that the juvenile had been sold for sexual purposes in 4 different. The FBI has joined the ongoing investigation into Kelly due to the multi-state aspect of the crime.
Kelly is facing additional charges by the Georgia State Patrol for Driving while Intoxicated (Narcotics), Possession of Marijuana, and Speeding. The State Patrol Trooper also determined that Kelly had an outstanding warrant from Norcross Police for Failure to Appear.
The juvenile was turned over to the custody of the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) where she has received medical treatment and will be receiving CSEC services.
GBI Director Vernon Keenan said, “The circumstances of this case exemplifies the importance of the State’s priority in addressing the problem of child sex trafficking in Georgia,”
In addition to the Georgia State Patrol and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, agencies involved in assisting in this matter include the Taliaferro County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Family and Children’s Services, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Care Connection.
Originally called the Human Trafficking Unit, the Child Sex Trafficking Section is now part of the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit. The name was changed because the GBI’s focus is on child sex trafficking and not other types of human trafficking. The mission of this section is to rescue children who are being sold for sexual purposes and to prosecute their traffickers.
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