A Georgia officer is facing criminal charges following allegations that he sent nude photos of himself to a child he met while on the job.
According to WSB-TV, Lake City officer Jonathan Balsam, 31, was charged with obscene internet contact with a child, violation of oath by public office, and electronically furnishing obscene material to minors after he allegedly sent sexually explicit images to the victim via Facebook Messenger. Citing a warrant, the news station reported that Balsam connected with the child in December.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) reportedly arrested Balsam while on patrol Thursday. WSB-TV reported that the officer is a father of two who had been with the police department for two years.
Balsam’s arrest came after GBI’s investigation into claims that he sexually exploited children using an online service, according to WXIA. The age of the officer’s alleged victim or victims remains undisclosed.
Balsam is on paid administrative leave following his arrest Thursday. Speaking with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lake City police Chief Tony Whitmire explained that Balsam will be fired if he’s indicted.
Whitmire also told WSB-TV that Lake City police is cooperating with the ongoing criminal investigation.
“Allegations such as these are always a black mark on the department and the profession as a whole,” he said. “We’ll see where it goes from here.”
[Featured image: Jonathan Balsam/Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council]