A Former Adairsville youth pastor pleads guilty to child molestation in Floyd Superior Court.  Forty-four-year-old Christopher Matthew Codding pleaded guilty to two counts of felony child molestation and one count of sodomy.  He received a 60-year sentence with 19 years to serve in prison and the remainder on probation.  Codding sexually abused two boys both approximately 10 years old at the time.  The children attended the church where Codding served as a youth pastor between 2012 and 2017.  At the time of his arrest in 2022, Codding was employed as a radiologic technician, often working in Baltimore, Maryland, and an instructor at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. He volunteered as a youth pastor at Cassville Baptist Church.  The boys did not tell anyone because Codding threatened to expose them.  The victims are now men with children of their own.  One of them came forward after learning that Codding planned to adopt two young boys.  An announcement was made at the church about Codding’s behavior and another person came forward.  Approximately 10 years ago, Codding informally adopted a young boy.  The boy, now an adult said Codding never abused him.  Codding would offer to serve as a mentor to the boys, taking them to his home for games and snacks.  He also took them swimming.  On many of these occasions, he would walk around nude and encourage the boys to do the same.  Officials with the District Attorney’s Office said he would prey on the most vulnerable children from the most troubled homes.  He is also accused of molesting a boy in New York, no charges were filed in this case but the victim now an adult addressed the court via Zoom.  ADA Leight Johnson credits the hard work of Sargent Amy Nails from the Floyd County Police Department with building the case.

It’s believed there are other cases that were never reported to law enforcement officials.  Codding asked for a 6-year sentence.  He also explained that sex offenders needed specific psychological treatment that he would be unable to receive in prison.  He was sentenced to serve 19 years incarcerated.