DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- An 18-year DeKalb County police veteran is due in court Thursday after he was arrested and charged with child molestation.
On Wednesday, Chief Cedric Alexander used words like embarrassment, disappointment, and hurt to describe his reaction to the arrest of Manuel Williams.
"It's very disheartening. It's very hurtful for all of us here at Dekalb any time we have an officer that goes outside of the law," said Alexander.
Williams' attorney, Gerald A. Griggs, released this statement about his client Wednesday night:
"Officer Williams was a decorated officer with DeKalb for the last 18 years and has never been never been in trouble with the law. Upon finding out about the allegations against him, Officer Williams agreed to speak with investigators but never admitted to criminal conduct against any juvenile. He maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name. We are in the process of completing our own investigation in this case and fully believe that investigation will fully exonerate Officer Williams. Further, we believe that additional witnesses will be provided to authorities that will show the lack of credibility and impossibility of the accuser's claims. Moreover, in speaking to investigators, Officer Williams never confessed to child molestation, that's just simply a misstatement of the truth."
Williams is accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year old girl visiting his daughter at their home. The incident happened more than a year ago. No word on why the teen chose to tell her father now. But Alexander says once he notified the department, it took investigators only two weeks to order his arrest.
"We're going to remain transparent, we're going to remain vigilant in terms of going after those who may be involved in activity that is just not becoming, criminal in nature," said Alexander.
Police believe Williams made contact with the girl only once and that there were no other victims. His first appearance is set for Thursday afternoon.