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Investigator: Man goes to jail drunk, is charged there with sex abuse

By Holly Hollman · 340-2445

ATHENS — A man who allegedly went to jail intoxica-ted to turn himself in after a fight, ended up charged with a sex crime, an investigator said.

Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt identified the man as J.D. Barnett Jr., 30, of 313 Tanglewood Drive, Athens.

McNatt said that late Monday or early Tuesday, Barnett allegedly fondled a 15-year-old female acquaintance.

“He also was sending her text messages that had sexual content,” McNatt said. The teen told a school employee, who contacted authorities.

On Tuesday, investigators alerted deputies to be on the lookout for Barnett.

“He ended up getting into a fight Tuesday night and knew we were looking to talk to him about that,” McNatt said.

“He came to the Sheriff’s Department to turn himself in and tell his side of it.”

Authorities charged him with public intoxication because he allegedly went to the jail drunk, McNatt said.

After questioning Barnett about the teen, authorities charged him Wednesday morning with harassing communications and first-degree sexual abuse. He was in jail Wednesday in lieu of $21,000 bond.

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