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Firefighter who works as clown faces child molestation charges

William Taylor White (left) faces charges of child molestation and sexual battery. He was also known as “Spladder” the clown and performed in Whitfield County events. (Credit: Whitfield County Sheriff's Office and Mitch Talley for Whitfield County Facebook)
William Taylor White (left) faces charges of child molestation and sexual battery. He was also known as “Spladder” the clown and performed in Whitfield County events. (Credit: Whitfield County Sheriff's Office and Mitch Talley for Whitfield County Facebook)

A firefighter was arrested Saturday in Whitfield County on charges of child molestation and sexual battery, the sheriff’s office said.

Firefighter William Taylor White, 34, of Chatsworth, was arrested at the Whitfield County Fire Department, where he works, Sheriff Scott Chitwood said in a news release.

White is also part of the department’s 16-member “Clown Posse,” which has performed recently in local elementary schools to teach kids about fire safety. He is known as “Spladder” the clown.

He has been placed on administrative leave.

The October clown events almost didn't take place after numerous reports of "creepy clowns," according to the Whitfield County Director of Communications, Mitch Talley, who posted about the events on the county's Facebook page.

Chitwood said an investigation into White’s alleged behavior was launched last week, when a woman brought her granddaughter to the sheriff’s office and said she had been molested.

Three children, ages 10, 11 and 12, told similar stories about White molesting them between 2012 and 2015, Chitwood said.

White faces five counts of child molestation and four counts of sexual battery against children under age 16.

The three children didn’t know each other. Investigators believe more victims may exist.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Daniel Jones of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office at 706-278-3029.