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On November 27, 2023, Jerric Gilbert pled guilty to two counts of Child Molestation, Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes, and Violation of Oath by Public Officer. Rather than proceed to trial on the November 27 trial date, Gilbert chose to enter a non-negotiated guilty plea in front of Superior Court Judge Dustin Hightower, who sentenced Gilbert to 60 years in prison followed by another 15 years on probation.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Lara Todd and DA Investigator Becky Byrd prosecuted the case. Special Agent (SA) Devin Evans of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) led the investigation. The evidence gathered in the investigation revealed the following:
On April 21, 2022, a 7-year-old student at a city elementary school disclosed to one of her teachers that Carrollton Police Department Officer Gilbert, the school’s resource officer, made her sister do something “nasty.” The child explained that she and her sister were no longer allowed to go to Gilbert’s residence, where they had previously gone to get their hair done. The teacher informed the school principal who immediately contacted the Carrollton Police Department and the parents of the children. Capt. Shannon Cantrell responded to the school and observed the school’s principal interview the 11-year-old victim.
The victim advised that she and her sister were at Gilbert’s residence when Gilbert took her into the basement to look at shoes. The victim stated that when she was alone with Gilbert in the basement, he turned off the lights, pulled down his pants, and placed her hands on his genitals. The victim said Gilbert made her wash her hands and go back upstairs. Following this interview, Gilbert was immediately placed on administrative leave and was terminated from the Carrollton Police Department the following day.
Because Gilbert had been an employee of Carrollton Police Department, the department requested that the GBI conduct an investigation into the allegations. S.A. Evans led the investigation and scheduled a forensic interview for the victim at the Carroll County Advocacy Center. During that forensic interview, the victim further disclosed that Gilbert moved her hands on his genitals in a tugging motion and that he touched her genitals over her clothes. The GBI then interviewed Gilbert during which he admitted to bringing the victim to the basement, placing her hands on his exposed penis, and doing so for his sexual gratification. Gilbert was arrested and charged with child molestation and violation of oath of office.
The District Attorney’s Office is grateful to the numerous members of the Carrollton Police Department who attended the plea to stand with the victim, to stand with the State, and to stand with the community against their former coworker. The District Attorney’s Office will do everything in its lawful power to protect child victims from sexual predators, regardless of their background.
JOHN HERBERT CRANFORD, JR.
COWETA JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
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