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FBI: Man married 10-year-old in basement ceremony

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A 42-year-old man and a 10-year-old girl exchanged wedding vows in the basement of the man's Jonesboro home, an FBI agent testified in federal court.

With a digital camera capturing the ceremony, Douglas Yutaka Rhoades and the little girl read their vows -- the 10-year-old struggling to pronounce the longer words -- and then they exchanged rings and an 18-second kiss.

"It was an actual wedding ceremony," FBI agent Joseph Fonseco testified during a bond hearing, Monday afternoon.

Rhoades' attorney, Jeff Ertl, questioned the agent's description of the ceremony during cross examination.

"There was no priest?" he asked. "There was no notary? Nothing to making it official? Wouldn't you say it was more of a mock wedding ceremony?"

Copies of the wedding vows were found underneath a Glock handgun in the console of Rhoades' minivan, when the 42-year-old security guard was arrested two weeks ago on charges he was impersonating a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and possessed child pornography.

Rhoades, with a black eye and the wispy beginnings of a beard, listened to the FBI agent recite a list of evidence indicating the man would be a danger to the community, if released on bond while facing federal charges.

Fonseco told the court, during the Monday afternoon bond hearing, that in addition to the fake FBI badge and the approximately 75 DVDs of alleged child pornography, relating to the federal charges, investigators also found evidence suggesting he may have been molesting two prepubescent girls.

A bag, found in his home, contained a 10-year-old girl's clothes, including underwear, pajamas, and a bathing suit, and contained condoms and itch-relief cream. A letter, allegedly written by Rhoades four years ago to a then-12-year-old girl, calls her "my love," "sweetheart," "my angel," "my lady," and "little Miss Magic," Fonseco testified.

Rhoades' attorney declined comment outside the courtroom Monday, but in court he questioned the evidence, saying almost all of it had been given to investigators by Rhoades' ex-wife. During a probable cause hearing last week, Ertl said that Rhoades maintains his innocence.

Rhoades is not facing charges of child molestation, despite the evidence already collected by the FBI and Clayton County Police. He is currently facing federal charges of impersonating an FBI agent and possessing child pornography, but the federal and local investigations into his relationships with young girls is under investigation. Federal prosecutors also fear there may be other victims out there who have not yet come forward. Rhoades' picture was released to the media -- something federal prosecutors rarely do -- in hopes that others will come forward and report Rhoades to the FBI at (404) 679-9000.

The evidence presented in the bond hearing was unrelated to the federal charges, but went to the question of Rhoades' release, pending trial.

United States Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman denied bond for Rhoades.

"There are no conditions or set of conditions I could impose," Baverman said, "that would reasonably ensure the safety of the community."