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Jailer charged with obscene Internet contact with a child

A Sylvania resident who is employed as an Effingham County corrections officer and is a certified umpire has been charged with felony obscene Internet contact with a child when he allegedly used social media to inappropriately converse with a teenager.
Troy Bohannon, 45, of 1676 Newington Highway, was arrested Monday evening following an investigation that began in late April when Bohannon reportedly began contacting the girl who was 14 when the investigation started.
The Screven County Sheriff’s Office would not disclose how Bohannon and the girl reportedly met to protect the identity of the victim.
Sgt. Brett Dickerson said Bohannon made initial contact with the girl in person and then communicated through social media with her. Dickerson said law enforcement was made aware of the social media conversations and an undercover specialist from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began to pose as the girl on her social media account.
“With their investigation, they assumed the online identity of the victim and subsequently monitored several obscene messages,” Dickerson said. “After observing a pattern of behavior and establishing probable cause with the investigation, we were able to obtain an arrest warrant.
“The victim absolutely did not encourage any of the behavior,” he said.
Dickerson said Bohannon interacted with an undercover investigator for “several weeks.”
The sergeant praised the Effingham County Task Force for its assistance with the investigation.
“They did an excellent job in this case and their mission requires a special type of mental toughness and technical ability that is extremely impressive. We greatly appreciate the assistance of Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie and his deputies.”
About Bohannon’s arrest, Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile said, “He made his choices and he has to face the consequences of the court.”
If convicted of the felony, Bohannon faces between a one and 10-year prison sentence.
Bohannon is employed with the Effingham County Correctional Institution and was a former sergeant at Corrections Corporation of America at the Jenkins Correctional Center. He also worked as a Screven County jailer for seven months between 2010 and 2011.
He also is a certified member of the Amateur Softball Association of America and umpires adult and youth recreational games for baseball and softball.
While the charge of obscene Internet contact with a child is a lesser used charge in Screven County, it has been state law since 2003. Dickerson said this is the first time he has charged an individual with the crime.
According to the law, “A person commits the offense of obscene Internet contact with a child if he or she has contact with someone he or she knows to be a child or with someone he or she believes to be a child via a computer on-line service or Internet service, including but not limited to a local bulletin board service, Internet chat room, e-mail, or on-line messaging service, and the contact involves any matter containing explicit verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexually explicit nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse that is intended to arouse or satisfy the sexual desire of either the child or the person, provided that no conviction shall be had for a violation of this subsection on the unsupported testimony of a child.”