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On September 20, 2021, Alexander Marcelle Lee, 23, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children. Lee entered a non-negotiated guilty plea and Coweta Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Dustin Hightower sentenced Lee to 20 years, with the first 15 years to be served in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Lara Myers prosecuted the case. Investigator Courtney Short of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office was the lead investigator.
In July 2020, the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office referred a tip from the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. Investigator Short investigated the tip, which indicated a person was sending suspected child pornography over the internet. Inv. Short identified Defendant Lee as the suspect and obtained search warrants for Lee’s electronics and his Facebook account. Following the execution of the search warrants, 15 images/videos depicting children engaging in sexually explicit conduct were found to have been sent from Lee’s Facebook account to another account. During the investigation, Lee was taken into custody and interviewed, at which time he admitted to sending the child pornography, to viewing child pornography for over a year, and to seeking out child pornography.
I commend the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office for its swift and thorough response to this ICAC tip. Investigator Short conducted a thorough investigation and skillfully interviewed the defendant to obtain his confession. Although Defendant Lee maintained that this was a victimless crime, every one of these videos and images involved a child victim of sexual abuse. The viewers of these images create a market for the images and incentivize their creation. Consequently, this Office will seek justice for the victims of these crimes and prison sentences for those who possess child pornography.
JOHN HERBERT CRANFORD, JR.
COWETA JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
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