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Child Exploitation

Former Georgia sheriff's deputy indicted for production of child pornography

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia man was arraigned Tuesday on an indictment charging him with production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Christopher Thomas Davis, 32, of Dahlonega, Ga., was a deputy sheriff at the White County, Ga., Sheriff's Office prior to his arrest on Aug. 25. He was indicted Sept. 20.

"This case is especially disturbing given the defendant held a position of public trust as a member of the law enforcement community," said Brock Nicholson, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Atlanta. "Working together with our law enforcement partners, ICE HSI will continue to aggressively use its broad investigative authorities to identify and arrest any individual who seeks to sexually exploit children."

Between May 18, 2009 and June 25, 2009, Davis took photographs of a 7-year-old female engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The photographs were taken inside Davis's home. At that time, and at the time of his arrest, Davis was employed as a sheriff's deputy with the White County Sheriff's Office.

On Aug. 25, federal agents executed a search warrant at Davis's home where they found additional images of child pornography.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Quillian Yates said, "It is a sad day when a member of law enforcement is charged with violating laws he is sworn to uphold, a day made far sadder because the victim is a young child whose life is forever changed. This defendant is charged not only with possessing sexually explicit images of children, but also with creating those images. He will now be held to account for his actions."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill E. Steinberg is prosecuting the case.

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or via its online tip form.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.