Peach deputy facing porn charges

FORT VALLEY — A Peach County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with five counts of possession of child pornography on his home computer as well as a laptop at his residence.

Aubrey Touchton, 55, of Fort Valley, is free on bond after his arrest by the GBI last week, said Craig Rotter, assistant special agent in charge of the Perry GBI office.

“At this point, there’s no indication that any local children were involved,” Rotter said.

The images appear to have been downloaded from the Internet, the agent said.

High-tech GBI forensic auditors are expected to comb the computers for additional images, and Rotter said he believes more images will be revealed.

Touchton, who has been with the sheriff’s office about two years, was assigned as a school resource officer at Fort Valley Middle School, Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese said. Touchton also had filled in on courthouse security.

Touchton was suspended without pay, facing termination upon completion of the internal appeals process, Deese said.

In addition to the criminal investigation by the GBI, Touchton faces an investigation by the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council, Rotter said.

Anytime a law enforcement officer is arrested, his certification required to serve as a law enforcement officer is immediately suspended pending a POST investigation and hearing on the charges lodged against the officer, Rotter said.

The GBI investigation was launched after a request from Deese after the sheriff validated a complaint that the deputy had pornographic images of children on his home computers, Rotter said.

The GBI investigation was requested per Peach County sheriff’s departmental policy to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, Deese said.

To contact Becky Purser, call 923-3109, extension 243.