Former Valdosta Police Officer Indicted For Sexual Exploitation Of Children

By: Valdosta Police Department, Joe Hellriegel Email
By: Valdosta Police Department, Joe Hellriegel Email

Updated By: Joe Hellriegel
March 4, 2014, 6pm

Former Valdosta Police Officer, Michael Linger, was investigated on October 2, for being in possession of pictures depicting minors, all under the age of 18, in a sexual manner.

Brad Shealy of the District Attorneys Office in Valdosta explained the charges that Linger is facing.

"He's charged with two offenses each one is a five to 20 offense, which you know five years in prison, or probation or a combination of the two," said Shealy.

The investigation was conducted by the Lowndes County District Attorney's Office and the United States Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Shealy says the investigation shows that Linger did not commit the acts while on duty at the police station.

"He will turn himself in on that indictment where he will post bond and then the next status the case would be he would go to arraignments on March 14, where he will be informed of the charges and enter a plea of not guilty," said Shealy.

According to the District Attorney's Office, the case could be scheduled to go to trial as soon as this summer.

Linger was let go of his position at the Valdosta Police Department with the Bureau of Patrol Services on October 3, the day after the investigation was conducted.

The District Attorney's Office is not releasing any more details about the case or investigation. The indictment was returned by the Grand Jury on Monday.


News Release: Valdosta Police Department

Former Valdosta Police Officer Michael Linger was indicted by a Lowndes County Grand Jury for 2 counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children. The indictment stems from an investigation that culminated on October 2, 2013 and was conducted by the Lowndes County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Linger was investigated for being in possession of visual medium depicting minors under the age of 18.

The Valdosta Police Department Bureau of Investigations and Internal Affairs Investigators worked with Investigators from the District Attorney’s Office and ICE Agents during the investigation. The investigation revealed that this conduct did not take place while Linger was on duty with the Valdosta Police Department. Linger, who was assigned to the Bureau of Patrol Services during his career with the police department, was immediately terminated from his employment as a Valdosta Police Officer on October 3, 2013. Information regarding the incident and Linger’s termination of employment was forwarded by the Valdosta Police Department to the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (POST) as an independent investigation by POST would be conducted regarding Linger’s peace officer certification.

A grand jury met last week in Valdosta and the indictments were released this morning.


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