Authorities are cautioning parents to monitor their children’s cell phones and computers after a Helen man was arrested for reportedly having inappropriate contact with a local girl.
Jeremy Lee Barrett, 25, has been charged by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office with one count of computer or electronic pornography in violation of the child exploitation act of 2007.
Barrett was arrested Aug. 7 following a weeklong investigation, triggered by the parents of a 12-year-old girl from Cumming.
As of Thursday, Barrett remained in custody at the Forsyth County Detention Center, where a jail spokeswoman said bond had been set at $11,110.
Authorities think Barrett may have contacted other children. The investigation is ongoing.
Sheriff’s Investigator Jeff Roe said Barrett apparently called random phone numbers in an attempt to contact a minor.
“The child’s number was one of the random numbers he picked,” Roe said. “The charges stemmed from unlawful images that were disseminated by Barrett, coupled with obscene Internet contact.”
Barrett allegedly continued calling the girl after she told him her age.
When her parents found out, they contacted the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Franco said the parents did the right thing and helped authorities by investigating their daughter’s cell phone activity.
Roe said authorities intercepted the sexually explicit images before the girl saw them.
Roe is on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The unit investigates cases of child pornography, computer pornography and child exploitation through Internet-based technology, including cell phones.
Roe’s duties as a member of the task force include giving presentations and tips about Internet safety.