Georgia police chief and mayor arrested for soliciting sex from young men

A Pike County police chief who is also a mayor has been arrested and charged with soliciting sex from young men after using his position to gain their trust, including allegedly sending obscene photos to a juvenile on his city phone, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

Molena Police Chief James Roberts was arrested Wednesday by the GBI. Roberts is also the mayor of Concord; both cities are in Pike County, about 50 miles, or an hour and 15 minutes, south of Atlanta.

Roberts used his position to gain the trust of several young men and solicited them for sex, according to a GBI press release. The GBI also alleges Roberts provided one man his personal code and key to fill up his personal car with county gas.

“We’re in limbo at the moment trying to absorb everything,” Molena Mayor Jay Garner told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“We were all shocked by it,” Concord Mayor Pro Tem John Strickland told the AJC. “If this is all true, we hope he will resign, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens from here.”

From the GBI press release:

On August 22, 2014, Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Coker, of the Griffin Judicial Circuit, requested the GBI conduct an investigation into allegations against Roberts. The request came after the grandparents of one of the young men, who was allegedly victimized by Roberts, reported the information to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation also revealed Roberts sent obscene pictures to a juvenile on his city phone.

The GBI presented its findings to Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard who determined Roberts would be charged with two counts of Solicitation of Sodomy and one count of Theft by Conversion.

Subsequent to Roberts’ arrest, GBI agents executed search warrants at Roberts’ residence, the Molena Police Department, Molena City Hall, and Concord City Hall.