Fulton County marshal jailed on child molestation charges

Credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

A Fulton County marshal has been suspended without pay following his arrest last week on child molestation charges, officials said.

Ariel Vera-Gonzalez turned himself in at the Douglas County jail Sept. 15, online records show. He faces two felony charges: one count of child molestation and one count of aggravated sexual battery.

Vera-Gonzalez, who works as a corporal with the Fulton County Marshal’s Department, was immediately suspended pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, agency spokeswoman Maj. D. Orange said Tuesday.

“He’s been suspended without pay,” Orange said, adding that the marshal’s department was made aware of the charges after Vera-Gonzalez turned himself in.

In an emailed statement, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said its investigation began last Wednesday when deputies were contacted about an alleged child molestation.

“The perpetrator was identified as Ariel Vera-Gonzalez, who was currently employed as a peace officer with the Fulton County Marshal’s Department,” an agency spokesman said. “During the course of the investigation, investigators were able to gain enough probable cause to obtain two arrest warrants for Ariel Vera-Gonzalez.”

No additional details about the case were immediately available, and authorities have not said when and where the alleged molestation occurred. Vera-Gonzalez, who has a Douglas County address listed in jail records, remained behind bars Wednesday morning.

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Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training records show Vera-Gonzalez joined the Douglasville Police Department in 2006 and worked for the agency for about 10 months before resigning. He then worked briefly for Clark Atlanta University’s Department of Public Safety in 2007 before joining the Fulton County Marshal’s Department. He was promoted to corporal in 2017, POST records show.

— Data specialist Jennifer Peebles contributed to this article.