By Jason A. Smith
An Atlanta man is out of the Henry County Jail on $25,000 bond, after allegedly using his computer to solicit a child for sex. Gheorghe Stefan Moise, 46, is charged with child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor.
Moise appeared, Friday, in Henry County Magistrate Court, represented by the Public Defender's Office. Judge Robert Godwin bound the suspect's charges over to Superior Court.
Moise's April 22 arrest resulted from a two-month-long, online investigation by the Henry County Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, according to Henry Police Capt. Jason Bolton.
"[Moise] used the Internet on his home computer to arrange a meeting with a minor child for sex," Bolton said. "He then traveled from Sandy Springs to a pre-arranged meeting location in McDonough ... where he was arrested at approximately 12:40 p.m."
An arrest warrant for Moise, from Henry County Magistrate Court, states that the suspect attempted to "coerce or entice a minor to engage in sexual conduct." The suspect, the warrant continues, sent sexually explicit photographs of himself to an undercover Henry Police officer, who was posing as a 15-year-old.
John Whitaker, who commands the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said an undercover operation like the Moise case is an example of a "proactive" investigation.
Another proactive form of investigation, according to Whitaker, focuses on people who share "known images of child pornography over peer-to-peer networks" via the Internet.
"It would appear to be an increasing problem, because we have much better tools to detect offenders," Whitaker said. "Last year, Georgia had the 15th highest number of cyber tips that came to us from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). We also had the fifth-highest number of [Internet Protocol] addresses that were known to be sharing child pornography."