Dougherty County man arrested for possession of child pornography
A Dougherty County man has been arrested after child pornography was found in his possession.
Officials with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office say that on December 5th, the Sheriff's Office and an un-named federal agency executed a search warrant on a home in the 3600 block of Newton Road due to information that had been received. The home is inhabited by a woman, her four children under the age of 16, and her boyfriend.
Upon execution of the search warrant, they found less than an ounce of marijuana, three pistols, a rifle, and what authorities describe as an extremely high volume of child pornography found on a laptop.
Authorities determined that the pornography belonged to 35-year-old Christopher Eugene Barton. He has been arrested and charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, four counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and one count of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
The mother of the children, 36-year-old Ila Evangeline Lewis, was arrested and charged with one count of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Officials believe that she had no knowledge of the child pornography and still maintains custody of the children.
Captain Craig Dodd of the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office said at a Thursday morning press conference that "often when a person possesses child pornography, their sexual preference tends towards pedophilia. It is not uncommon that people owning these videos begin to engage in the conduct. Due to the amount of school age children, it is important to get people like this off the street."
Lewis says Barton is not a pedophile and has never touched either of their two daughters or her sons from a previous relationship. Although she agrees that people must face consequences for their actions, Lewis says she doesn't think Barton will get the help and counseling he needs by being thrown in the Dougherty County Jail, where he's being held with no bond.
Officials say that more searches are being executed in response to what has been found.
Stay connected to MySouthWestGA.com as the story develops and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM for more information on the case.