WHITFIELD COUNTY, Ga. - A northwest Georgia firefighter was in court Tuesday facing molestation charges
William Taylor White, 34, was arrested at the Whitfield County Fire Department and is facing five counts of child molestation and four counts of sexual battery of a child under the age of 16.
"We had a complaint come in a few weeks ago regarding some accusations, so naturally our investigators followed up with it. That in turn led to the arrest of Mr. White," said Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood.
The sheriff's office launched an investigation on February 6 after a woman brought her young granddaughter to the sheriff's office and reported she had been molested by White.
"He was picked up on Saturday, had a first appearance on Monday, appeared before the superior court judge this morning," said Sheriff Chitwood.
White was part of the fire department's "Clown Posse," which is a group that meets with children to educate them during fire prevention week at school. White played the role of "Spladder the Clown." Sheriff Chitwood said none of the alleged abuse occurred while White was on duty or as a member of the Clown Posse.
"The accusations that have been made are incidents totally unrelated to the Whitfield County Fire Department," the sheriff said.
Deputies identified at least two more victims during the investigation. The girls were 10, 11, and 12 at the time of the incidents. Investigators said all told similar stories about being molested by the suspect. The incidents took place between 2012 and 2015, according to the sheriff.
White was booked into the Whitfield County Jail on Saturday. Tuesday, a magistrate granted him $150,000 in bail, which he posted later that afternoon.