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Trial set for ex-deputy
-pruitt scott
Scott Pruitt - photo by Submitted
The trial of a former Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy on child pornography charges is scheduled to begin this week in federal court.

Milton Scott Pruitt, 41, who was fired and later ran unsuccessfully for sheriff, was indicted in August 2008.

The three-count indictment, handed down by a federal grand jury, contends Pruitt knowingly received child pornography on his work computer and knowingly received and possessed child pornography on his home computer.

If convicted, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.

Jury selection in the case is scheduled to begin Monday at U.S. District Court in Gainesville.

The federal indictment contends Pruitt, who lives in northeastern Forsyth, accessed files belonging to the sheriff's Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce without authorization.

It also asserts that between October 2006 and May 2007, Pruitt used a media storage device seized in a criminal investigation without authorization.

Pruitt was fired May 17, 2007, from the sheriff’s office amid the child pornography-related accusations against him.

In November 2008, a local grand jury indicted Pruitt on five counts of violation of oath by public officer, two counts of theft by taking and one count of computer theft.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges in December in Forsyth County Superior Court.

Less than a week after Pruitt was fired in 2007, he was arrested and charged with 20 felony counts of violation of the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act.

In addition, he was charged with one count each of theft by taking, theft by conversion, computer trespass and violation of oath of office.

Attempts to reach Pruitt’s attorney, Bill McKenney, for comment were not successful Friday.

McKenney has previously characterized the case against his client as “overreaching by the government.”

Patrick Crosby, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia, declined to comment on the upcoming trial.

According to an August 2008 report from the office, U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said people who receive and possess child pornography "support a vile industry that causes immense harm to innocent children."

"This former law enforcement officer is part of the problem, unlike the vast majority of officers who are part of the solution," Nahmias said.

Pruitt came in second last year to his former boss, Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton, in a three-man Republican primary contest that saw Paxton elected to a third, four-year term.

E-mail Julie Arrington at