Sex offender charged with molestation
Man pled guilty to sexual battery of 11-year-old in October 2006

COVINGTON - A 39-year-old Covington man who was already on probation for sexual battery of a child has been arrested by the Newton County Sheriff's Office and charged with child molestation, according to NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell.

Charles Christopher Garrett, who is registered as a sex offender living at 317 Kent Rock Road, Loganville, was arrested about 8 p.m. June 11 at 688 Almon Road, Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the arrest followed an investigation into allegations involving the molestation of an 8-year-old child made by the Sheriff's Office in late May.

Garrett had pleaded guilty under a plea agreement that reduced two counts of child molestation to two lesser counts of sexual battery in October 2006, according to a previously published story in the Newton Citizen.

Superior Court Judge Horace Johnson Jr. accepted the plea recommendation from Assistant District Attorney Melanie McCrory, who said it would reduce the risk of putting the victim, who was an 11-year-old family member of the defendant, through the trauma of a trial. She said the mother and father of the victim were involved in the decision to reduce the charges.

The victim's grandmother shouted out in open court, "That's not right. He molested my grandbaby," and left the courtroom in tears at the time of sentencing.

McCrory said Garrett had undergone a psychosexual examination and did not exhibit the profile of a pedophile and had no previous record. She did, however, recommend a year of confinement, which the judge did not impose.

Although his sentence was for 10 years, Garrett was allowed to serve the first six months in work release, the subsequent six months under house arrest with the balance of time to be served under intensive probation. Further, he was to have no contact with the victim, undergo sexual offender treatment, not have unsupervised contact with any children under the age of 16 and was required to register as a sex offender. He was also given first offender status.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.