A DeKalb County police officer was accused Thursday of showing a 13-year-old pornography and trying to undress her.
Eighteen-year police veteran Manuel Williams was arrested Wednesday and charged with child molestation, police said.
Williams, 49, admitted to the charges and offered his resignation, DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said Wednesday.
In his first court appearance on Thursday, Williams’ bond was set at $10,000 after DeKalb County Magistrate Claire B. Jason read the allegations against him.
“The accused allowed the victim to view pornography with him, kissed her on the neck, touched her” and tried to undress her, Jason said.
The alleged incident took place at Williams’ home in September 2012, police said.
The girl reported the alleged incident to her mother in a letter approximately a year later, according to a DeKalb County Police arrest warrant obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The father of the 13-year-old victim reported it to police on Oct. 12,” Alexander told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s very disheartening for all of us here at DeKalb Police.”
The girl was interviewed by police, and the arrest warrant says Williams confessed.
Williams’ attorney, Gerald Griggs, said his client was innocent and questioned the girl’s story.
“We believe the victim has credibility issues,” Griggs told The AJC by phone Wednesday night. “She waited quite a long time to report this. At all times his daughter was present, so there’s no way any sexual contact occurred.”
Griggs also challenged the assertion that Williams made any confession to the charges.
“My client did resign and he did give a statement,” he said. “At no time did he say, ‘I molested her,’ or ‘I touched her,’ or did anything that could be considered a criminal act.”
Williams was with the department for 18 years and most recently worked out of the south precinct, police said.
“Records indicate that he’s always carried himself as a stellar officer,” Alexander said. “This comes as a surprise for us. But we’re going to do what is right by the public and by the police department.”
Williams is being held at the DeKalb County jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for him in DeKalb Magistrate Court on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.
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