Principal charged with attempted child sex to go before judge

A Douglas County elementary school principal arrested and charged with trying to have sex with a child will go before a judge Tuesday afternoon.

John McGill was one of 14 people arrested in an undercover investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit. McGill was charged under the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 1999.

McGill is scheduled to appear before a DeKalb County Magistrate Court judge at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.

McGill, and the others, traveled with the intent to meet a child for sex, the GBI said in a statement.

“The purpose of ‘Operation Broken Heart’ was to arrest persons who communicate with children on-line and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex,” the GBI said. “On-line child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the internet, find children, begin conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose for having sex.”

McGill is the principal at Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Douglas County. On his bio online, which appears to have been posted for the 2011-2012 school year, McGill said he is married with six children and three grandchildren, and has been a public school administrator for 18 years, including 14 as a principal.

“I hope that you continue to find that Mt. Carmel is a ‘happy place’ where children feel safe, understand the high expectations for student achievement and the love for children that is present each and every day,” he wrote.

McGill is the youngest of six children, and has a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Samford University in Birmingham, as well as degrees from Troy State University and Alabama State University, according to his Douglas County bio.

In an emailed statement over the weekend, Douglas County School System spokeswoman Karen Stroud said McGill had been suspended pending the law enforcement investigation.

“The system is cooperating fully with law enforcement,” she wrote. “Few details, confirmed by law enforcement, are available at this time.”

At a school board meeting Monday night, Sandra Williams was named interim principal for Mt. Carmel Elementary. Williams is a retired Douglas County administrator who served as principal of the school from 2002 to 2007.

— Staff Writer Ty Tagami contributed to this article.

The arrests in DeKalb County included:

  • Kahsi Butler, 31, of Conyers (musician)
  • Fred Gregory Chatham, 64, of Griffin (field tech)
  • Benjamin Hopson, 21, of Lithonia (grocery store employee)
  • John Benjamin Katz, 29, of Fairburn (drafter)
  • Cheney Li, 22, of Atlanta (software developer)
  • John McGill, 56, of Villa Rica (elementary school principal)
  • J. B. Owen, 58, of Canton (VP of ambulance service)
  • Marc Matthew Peterson, 38, of Acworth (culinary business manager)
  • Tiana Cousteau Reese, 38, of College Park
  • Tracy Antonio Solomon, 50, of Stockbridge (airport crew outfitter)
  • Choon Hong David Tan, 52, of Johns Creek (engineer)
  • Richard Roger Tumlin, 49, of Winder (load operator)
  • Kenneth Walker, 48, of Winder (sales)
  • Dane Andrew Wolfe, 34, of Snellville (driver)

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