A theft investigation turns into a child molestation case. Forty-one-year-old Brandon Michael Elrod of Cartersville pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation and one count of sexual exploitation of children in Bartow Superior Court Tuesday. Elrod received a 40-year sentence, with the first 25 years to serve incarcerated and the remainder on probation.
According to the Facts of the case, in 2017, the Department of Natural Resources received a complaint about the theft of Native American artifacts. They launched an investigation and confiscated Elrod’s digging equipment and cell phone. They searched his phone for more information on the items taken. During the search, they found sexual material involving children. The GBI obtained a search warrant and launched an investigation.
The victims told officials that Elrod would sexually abuse them and take photos with his phone. District Attorney Samir Patel said this was an extensive negotiation process. His office seeks justice without forcing children to testify and relive the abuse.
The felony offenses could account for as much as 80 years of incarceration as a maximum penalty. Again, Elrod received a 40-year sentence with the first 25 years to serve incarcerated and the remainder on probation. He may have no contact with the named victims, no weapons, and, following release, abide by special sex offender conditions.