William Stephen Crossen, who was let go by the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 29, has been charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, six counts of dissemination of computer pornography, as well as counts of sodomy and interference with custody.
Crossen allegedly committed the crimes during a 10-day span in February, which included him enticing the teen into a sexual encounter, taking photos of her, and distributing the photos, according to the indictment.
According to the Lookout Mountain district attorney's office, a Catoosa County grand jury returned a special presentment indictment against Crossen on Wednesday.
Crossen's attorney, McCracken Poston of Ringgold, said Crossen cooperated with authorities during the investigation, but that he has not yet been released from jail.
“The district attorney's office has not agreed to set a bond at this time,” Poston said. “We're working on it though, and I hope to get him out sometime today (Friday).”
Crossen, who worked with the Catoosa Sheriff's Office for more than five years, was booked into jail about 1:40 p.m. on Thursday after turning himself in. He was moved to another jail shortly thereafter due to the special circumstances surrounding the case.
Crossen also worked at one time as a officer with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.
“In a case involving a police officer or in this case, a former police officer, they are typically separated from the general population,” said sheriff’s major Gary Sisk. “In this case, with him formerly working at this office and this jail, we didn't want any of our employees to feel uncomfortable.”
As for the charges, Sisk said that because the girl was 16, which is Georgia's age of consent for sex, there was a charge of sodomy rather than child molestation.
The acts in the case allegedly took place between Feb. 19 and Feb. 28, which prompted the girl's family to notify police.
An investigation was then launched by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Crossen was fired.
“The investigation didn't take long,” Sisk said. “The investigation began, and once the facts of the case were known, he was terminated immediately.”