John Brian Golden, 36, also facing four counts of possessing child pornography

Judge sets bond at $75,000 for accused child molester

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In Bartow Superior Court Tuesday, Georgia Superior Court Senior Judge Shepherd L. Howell set bond at $75,000 for a Cartersville man accused of molesting his own daughter.

John Brian Golden, 36, faces three counts of child molestation, one count of aggravated child molestation and four counts of possessing child pornography. 

“He was previously working as a paramedic or an EMT — he’s been doing that for 17 years, as a matter of fact,” said public defender LeAnna Wade. “His mother has informed us that he has three separate places that he would be able to stay at if he was released on bond … there are no children that live at these residences, they’re not near any schools or anything like that, although he is not on the sex offender registry.”

Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Jana W. Allen said the case began when his 11-year-old daughter visited him last year. 

“The defendant suggested to her that she go take a shower,” she said. “She goes into the bathroom and she started getting undressed and she notices what appears to be some type of recording device surrounded by a towel.”

The alleged victim sent a text to her mother — who is divorced from the defendant — and law enforcement was called. 

During a follow-up forensic interview, the defendant’s daughter said that her father molested her when she was 6 or 7. Local law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s phone and sent the device to FBI specialists to unlock it. 

“Once they did, they located at least 44 images of what appears to be child pornography,” Allen said. “So far, they’ve taken four warrants out for the images that were there.”

Wade said there were no illicit photographs of the defendant’s daughter on his device.

“There was no material found of the alleged victim,” she said. “The allegations that brought all of this about is that Mr. Golden had some kind of recording device in the bathroom … the cell phone was searched and there was nothing on the cell phone of the daughter.”

Golden was booked into the Bartow County Jail on Dec. 17, 2018. Considering the seriousness of the charges, Allen requested that no bond be set for the defendant.

Wade, however, argued that the defendant should be eligible for “reasonable” bond, given his age and ties to the community. “He was injured fairly recently on the job, he does have a worker’s comp claim that is pending,” she said. “So I’m not certain whether he would immediately return to work if he gets released on bond.” 

As part of Golden’s bond conditions, he is not allowed to have contact with any minors, including the 11-year-old alleged victim or his 7-year-old daughter from another marriage. He must also reside in Bartow County while awaiting future court appearances.

According to Bartow County Sheriff’s Office data, Golden bonded out of the local jail on Feb. 5.