Trial Set For Georgia Cop Charged With Child Molestation

Kristin Matthew Ward

Georgia – A former Athens-Clarke County police officer is scheduled to go on trial next week, nearly three years after he was arrested for allegedly molesting a child while still a cop.

The alleged victim was under 16 years old when he claimed he was assaulted by Kristin Matthew Ward between September 2010 and November 2011, according to Clarke County Superior Court records.

Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to begin Monday.

Defense attorney Morris “Mo” Wiltshire is confident his client will be exonerated by a jury.

“Kris will now finally get his day in court,” Wiltshire said. “He maintains that he is innocent and he did not sexually abuse anyone.”

The alleged victim was said at the time of the reported offenses to be a cadet with the Civil Air Patrol and Ward was both a police officer and commander of the air patrol unit based at Athens-Ben Epps Airport. When arrested in April 2015, Ward was a deputy commander for the Civil Air Patrol in Barrow County.

Ward was charged with aggravated sexual battery, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and violation of his oath as a police officer, according to an initial indictment filed in December 2015 in Clarke County Superior Court.

A new indictment was filed two months ago, after Western Judicial Circuit Ken Mauldin recused himself from the case due to an undisclosed conflict.

The case was transferred to Piedmont Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brad Smith for prosecution, but the trial will be held at the Athens-Clarke County Courthouse.

In the second indictment, grand jurors charged Ward with child molestation, criminal attempt to commit child molestation and two counts of violation of his oath as a police officer. Unlike the initial panel of jurors, the second grand jury was not asked to consider charges of aggravated sexual battery or enticing a child for indecent purposes, based on a new review of evidence, according to Smith.