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Preying at church, not praying

By Ed Brock

Darlene Watson was a little nervous to hear that a school bus driver for her daughter's school has been charged with seeking a sexual liaison with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl.

“This is scary,” said Watson.

Peachtree City police arrested Mohammad Bolton, 31, of McDonough on Wednesday and charged him with violating the computer pornography and child exploitation act. Authorities said he used the computer at church to prey on a teen girl. A youth minister at Church of Harvest International in Jonesboro, Bolton drove a bus that shuttled students to and from Kemp Primary and Elementary Schools and Lovejoy High School.

Watson's 7-year-old daughter didn't ride on Bolton's bus, but she said the incident made her worry about who was taking her child to school.

On Thursday afternoon Bolton remained in Fayette County jail on $82,600 bail with court fees, Fayette County Sheriff's Sgt. Belinda McCastle said.

Bolton established contact with the Peachtree City officer on an Internet chat room and was particularly aggressive in pursuing a sexual encounter, according to Peachtree City Police Chief Jim Murray.

At one point he told the agent that he wanted to meet “her” at her parent's house. Murray said the agent said they might get caught.

“He said he does it all the time so its cool,” Murray said. “That's one of the reasons we were so worried about this individual being out in society.”

Peachtree City police have investigated at least 10 similar cases, Murray said, and they had never seen any suspect make a statement like that.

The supposed teen and Bolton arranged a meeting and Bolton did meet with an undercover officer with the city.

Murray said Bolton is married to a receptionist at the Church of Harvest, and that was confirmed by Dr. Paulette Stewart, associate pastor at the church. The couple doesn't have any children.

Stewart said Bolton was a good friend who would do anything for anybody.

“I can't think of one thing against him in terms of what we saw of him,” Stewart said. “I guess that's why we're in such shock.”

Stewart said she hadn't spoken to Bolton's wife much since the arrest but she could only assume she was also in shock.

“I'm sure she's distraught,” Stewart said.

Police want to know if there are other victims out there, but Stewart said nobody at the church has come forward with other accusations.

If somebody does come forward in Clayton County police would investigate, Clayton County Assistant Chief Jeff Turner said, but currently they are not involved in the investigation.