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Jonesboro golf pro faces child exploitation charges

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

The head golf professional at Lake Spivey Golf Club, in Jonesboro, has been arrested in northwest Georgia on child exploitation charges.

Barry Loman, 45, of Peachtree City, was arrested Sunday after he traveled from Peachtree City to Catoosa County, allegedly to meet with a person he thought was a minor child, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Stephen Emmett, of the Atlanta Field Office.

Loman was being held, Monday, in the Catoosa County Jail in Ringgold, Ga., Emmett said.

"The conversation that led to the meeting began over the Internet," said Emmett. He said the online conversation was between Loman and a law enforcement official who is a member of the Northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The task force consists of FBI agents, and officers from the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, Dalton Police Department, Dade County Sheriff's Office, Rossville Police Department, and the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office, according to Emmett.

Emmett said he could not discuss what age or gender authorities told Loman the child was in the online conversation.

"These types of investigations are initiated over the Internet," said Emmett. "It can be through various chat rooms that are geared toward this type of activity," he said.

Joe Hamilton, Lake Spivey Golf Club owner, said he's shocked by the allegations.

"We're the most family-oriented operation in Georgia, and to have something like this happen makes me want to puke," said Hamilton.

He said Loman has been head golf pro at the club for about 15 months.

"All of the background checks and employment records [for Loman] were corroborated, so, for this to come up is past my comprehension.

"He teaches adults, seniors and children's group lessons," said Hamilton.

He said the lessons to children are always taught in groups with a couple of other instructors present, and usually parents present as well.

"Never any one-on-one lessons, but it had nothing to do with being suspicious of the man," said Hamilton. "One person can't handle six or eight kids at one time."

Hamilton said Loman is suspended with pay for now, "Until I learn more," he said.

"Let me just reinforce, there's not a company in Clayton County that's more community-minded than Lake Spivey Golf Club, so having an employee that's been accused of this -that flies in the face of everything we stand for," Hamilton said.