Metro Atlanta police officer accused of sexually exploiting children

A metro Atlanta police officer was arrested on charges he sexually exploited children online, the GBI said Friday. 

Jonathan Seth Balsam, a Lake City officer, was charged Thursday with obscene internet contact with a child, electronically furnishing obscene material to minors, and two counts of violation of oath by public officer, the GBI said. Investigators believe Balsam exploited children through an online service, but no further details were released. 

Balsam, 31, of Stockbridge, was being held without bond Friday at the Clayton County jail. 

Lake City, with a population of about 2,600, is located in Clayton County. The city’s police department has 16 sworn officers, according to its website. Chief Anthony Whitmire said Balsam has been employed with the department for approximately two years. 

“We have cooperated fully with the investigation and we have suspended the officer pending further parts of the investigation,” Whitmire told AJC.com.

Balsam was suspended with pay, Whitmire said. If the officer is indicted, he will be fired, the chief said. 

Balsam was employed by the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office from 2012 to 2016, according to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. He worked as a state corrections officer from 2010 to 2012, records showed.

Anyone with information about this case or any other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the GBI Child Exploitation Unit at 404-270-8870.

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