Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Georgia Police Officer Arrested for Alleged Sexual Exploitation of Children

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jan 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

A police officer serving in Clayton County has recently been arrested for the sexual exploitation of children in Georgia.

Jonathan Balsam has been charged with obscene internet contact with a child in Georgia as well as violation of oath in Georgia. He has also been accused of electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors.

According to reports, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Unit has been investigating this case, and Balsam has been suspended. If he is indicted, the chief says that he will be fired from his position.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus on the offense of electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors.

Electronically Furnishing Obscene Materials to Minors in Georgia

Electronically Furnishing Obscene Materials to Minors in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-12-100.1 as:

1. Knowing or having good reason to know the character of the material furnished, the person electronically furnishes to an individual whom the person knows or should have known is a minor:

  • Any picture, photograph, drawing, or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of a human body which depicts sexually explicit nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors; or
  • Any written or aural matter that contains material of the nature described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph or contains explicit verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse;

2. The offensive portions of the material electronically furnished to the minor are not merely an incidental part of an otherwise nonoffending whole;

3. The material furnished to the minor, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value; and

4. The material furnished to the minor, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors in that it appeals to and incites prurient interest.

Electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors in Georgia is classified as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

Practice Note

There are incidents when an individual is wrongfully accused or arrested for electronically furnishing obscene materials to a minor - just as with any other crime in Georgia. In these cases, there are Georgia Criminal Defensesthat may apply.

The reality is that any crime dealing with inappropriate conduct and minors in Georgia is taken very seriously. There are severe consequences. Contact our offices today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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