Adam Jeffrey McElyea arrested on 13 counts of sexual exploitation of children

No bond for Acworth man facing child porn charges

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Cherokee Judicial Circuit Judge David K. Smith denied a motion to set bond for an Acworth man facing 13 counts of sexual exploitation of children in Bartow Superior Court Tuesday morning.

According to Bartow County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) records, defendant Adam Jeffrey McElyea was taken into pretrial custody at the local jail on Dec. 23. 

Public defender Kearston Gill noted that McElyea had just bonded out of jail on Dec. 13, after being arrested on felony fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer charges on Dec. 9.

In between the arrests, she said law enforcement agents executed a search warrant on the defendant’s residence. At that time, Gill said McElyea was living with a roommate, unaware that said roommate is a registered sex offender.

“He stated that he allowed his roommate to use his phone and whatnot, because this happens quite often, some of our clients’ friends or family members don’t have minutes,” Gill said. “The stuff, I guess, linked up to a cell phone and back to an email address, so there’s some confusion with him as to what was necessarily going on, but he categorically denies ever doing this.”

While Gill said the defendant does have a record, the previous arrests and convictions were for non-sexual offenses. 

“A lot of it was thefts or marijuana,” she said, “but nothing like this.”

She also said the defendant has no previous failures to appear, adding she does not believe him to be a flight risk. 

“He works, he has two children, he’s certainly just a little bit shocked about the situation,” she said. “We understand he is on bond for another charge, but this didn’t happen at the same time, so it’s a little bit different than what I’m accustomed to.”

Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Brookshire said the defendant’s rap sheet includes an arrest out of Michigan for assault with a dangerous weapon. BCSO documents indicate the defendant is also facing a litany of misdemeanor charges in Bartow County, including reckless driving, driving without a valid license and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.

Brookshire had a different take on the illicit images allegedly possessed by the defendant.

“All of the images that were uploaded to Google were in Mr. McElyea’s Gmail address,” she told the court, adding the defendant allegedly bookmarked several “child pornography-related” websites.