CONYERS - An emergency medical technician in Rockdale County has been arrested on allegations that he used the Internet to lure a 13-year-old girl for sexual purposes.
Investigators with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office received a tip from a woman working for the Web-based organization Perverted-Justice.com that a man in Conyers had contacted a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, "Megan," from Albany for sexual activity, according to the RCSO incident report.
"Megan," however, was an adult female decoy with Perverted Justice who logged into an online chat room under the screen name "Wickedgiggle95."
According to the incident report, conversations between Wickedgiggle95 and a person with the screen name "georgia_emti" began on March 26 with the question, "Would you ever date a married man?"
Georgia_emti was identified as Tommy McDonald of 1431 S. Hicks Circle in Conyers.
"Mr. McDonald made several sexually explicit comments in the online chats and sent pictures exposing his genitals over the Web cam to her," the report stated.
McDonald, 39, allegedly provided a telephone number for "Megan," and on April 2, another decoy posing as "Megan" called him and recorded the conversations, the report said.
Perverted Justice contacted authorities on May 4 and the case was assigned to an RCSO investigator. McDonald was arrested Friday and charged with using the Internet to find a child for a sex act and obscene Internet contact with a child.
Sheriff Jeff Wigington said independent groups like Perverted Justice can be useful, but the information provided by them needs to be corroborated. He said the RCSO conducted its own investigation, which resulted in the arrest of McDonald. The investigation is ongoing, he said.
Perverted Justice is a California-based nonprofit organization of volunteers who investigate, identify and publicize adults who solicit online sexual conversations with adults posing as children. Perverted Justice teamed up with Dateline NBC for a series of televised sting operations called, "To Catch a Predator."
The group's stated goal is "to create a 'chilling effect' in regional chat rooms and other easy targets of opportunity online, such as social networking Web sites," according to the Web site, www.perverted-justice.com.
"Simply stated," the site continues, "we want to poison the well of these rooms and places by covering enough of them that even if you're looking for underage females, an extra bit of paranoia will cross your mind."
Aimee Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.