Athens man arrested for alleged child sexual exploitation


Justin Coates

By Joe Johnson

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CCAC) Unit recently arrested Justin Coates, 37, of Peabody Street, on five counts of sexual exploitation of children.

The specialized GBI unit began an investigation into Coates’ online activity regarding the online possession and distribution of images depicting child sexual abuse.

The investigation led to the execution of a search warrant of Coates' home by GBI agents and Athens-Clarke County police detectives, at Coates’ residence.

Coates was booked into the Clarke County Jail upon his arrest on Aug. 26. However, the GBI did not announce the arrest until Tuesday.

Coates was released from jail the day after his arrest, posting a $5,000 bond.

The GBI said the investigation was part of an ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the child pornography trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit at 404-270-8870. Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.