Michael Lomax (Gwinett County Sheriff’s Office)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cops: Ex-Gwinnett deputy said he didn't know boy he met online was 13

A now-former Gwinnett County sheriff's deputy accused of performing sex acts with a boy he met online told police he didn't know the youngster was just 13 years old, a detective testified Thursday.

Michael Lomax, a jailer for the Gwinnett sheriff's office for about two years, resigned following his Nov. 2 arrest on a single count of aggravated child molestation. Short and wide-eyed in a green jumpsuit, he sat quietly Thursday morning as a preliminary hearing in his case unfolded in the same building where he once worked.

Gwinnett County police Detective Kim Riddle briefly outlined her investigation's findings.

The case actually began with Lilburn police, Riddle testified, who began looking into the incident last December after the alleged victim's mother came forward with allegations. The boy reportedly told police Lomax had contacted him through Grindr, a gay social networking app.

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Lomax and the boy met at least once before an incident sometime in October 2015, during which Lomax is accused of picking the boy up, taking him to his apartment and performing "oral sodomy," Riddle said. 

Riddle interviewed Lomax after the case was turned over to Gwinnett County police. The ex-deputy reportedly admitted to picking the boy up but said they only "cuddled and sucked on each other's necks."

"He said he did not know he was 13 years old," Riddle testified.

At the end of Thursday's hearing, defense attorney Teri Thompson asked for the charges against Lomax to be dropped. She argued that the alleged victim was the only witness to the incident and that there was "no physical evidence to sustain the charge."

Magistrate Judge Bob Mitchum didn't buy it and bound over the charges against Lomax, meaning his case will now move on to Superior Court. Bond was not considered. 

Lomax, a Lithonia resident, has remained in the Gwinnett County jail since his arrest.

His arrest marked the sixth of Gwinnett deputy since 2012, and Thursday morning's hearing came a day after another now-former member of local law enforcement, ex-Lilburn Police Department Officer Gary Livingston, was indicted on charges related to an on-duty "inappropriate touching" incident.

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