Based on a months long joint investigation between the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a Fayette County deputy has been terminated and arrested on charges of the sexual exploitation of children.
On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said that Deputy Sheriff Harry “Butch” Parris was terminated for cause from the department where he has been employed since March 29, 1993 and worked as a deputy sheriff in the jail division.
According to Sheriff Barry Babb, the original investigation was instigated under former sheriff Wayne Hannah’s term, when evidence of a possible crime was found on a work computer Parris used where officials said Parris searched for and viewed child pornography.
On October 26, 2012, the department contacted the GBI to turn over the preliminary information which had been collected and requested a full investigation, making them the lead agency in the investigation, with the cooperation of the sheriff’s department.
On Wednesday, GBI agents briefed
District Attorney Scott Ballard and
Babb as to the status of the investigation and warrants were issued. Parris was arrested and charged with Sexual Exploitation of Children and Violation of Oath of Office.
“It’s a sad thing when an officer tarnishes the badge,” Babb said on Thursday morning.
Parris was booked and fingerprinted at the Fayette County Jail but was transported to another holding facility. The case could be presented to the Grand Jury as early as April 24, 2013.