A Bartow County mayor has pleaded guilty to the electronic exploitation of a child after avoiding another charge he had faced—attempted child molestation.
Taylorsville Mayor Cary Wayne Rhodes, 57, in an online sting by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Northwest Georgia Safe Child Task Force. Authorities said Rhodes—a self-employed engineer and secretary and chief financial officer of Taylorsville Baptist Church—was arrested in Chatsworth, where he traveled to meet and have sex with a child he had already met online.
He pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of computer and electronic child exploitation, Dalton's The Daily Citizen reports. Rhodes thought he would be meeting a 14-year-old girl, an official told the newspaper, but was jailed with a $50,000 bond.
Rhodes made bond and was released after nearly a week in jail. Following a pre-sentence investigation, he is set to be sentenced June 27.
Two counts of attempted child molestation against Rhodes were dismissed, said his , reports.
"The Rhodes family has been through a lot, and (Cary) is trying to move on with his life," Evans told the newspaper. "He is still the mayor and has had a lot of community support."