MONROE, Ga. — A grand jury has indicted Loganville attorney Austin Owen Jones.
Jones, a former member of the City Council, has been charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of children.
He was indicted Tuesday afternoon in the first meeting of a Walton County grand jury since a judicial emergency was declared due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill of indictment claims that Jones possessed and controlled “a digital image which depicts a minor and a portion of a minor’s body engaged in sexually explicit conduct” between December 2015 and May 2017.
Each count carries a prison term of five to 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Eight exhibits were incorporated but are sealed.
Jones was expected to surrender at the Walton County Jail but had not as of about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Federal agents, assisted by Walton County sheriff’s deputies, searched Jones’ office and home in December 2015. Jones’ attorney at the time said the search appeared to focus on a particular wire transfer.
“I’m going to hold my head up high, knowing that I’ve done nothing wrong, and keep working hard for my clients,” Jones said in a statement at the time.
Interim District Attorney Randy McGinley declined comment.