U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Georgia
(404) 581-6000
December 3, 2014

Former Elementary School Principal Convicted of Attempting to Entice a Minor

ATLANTA—John Harold McGill, the former principal of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Douglas County, Ga., has been convicted after a jury trial, of using e-mails and text messages to attempt to entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.

“The idea that an elementary school principal would attempt to have sex with a 13-year-old girl is disgraceful,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “McGill violated a public trust and all sense of common decency, and a jury has held him criminally responsible.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children program, along with the FBI Atlanta based Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation (MATCH) Task Force, remains ever vigilant for individuals such as Mr. McGill, who not only represent a threat to our children, but who are also in a position of trust over those very children. The conviction by jury trial of Mr. McGill, a former elementary school principal, on federal charges of attempting to entice a minor child for sex removes a very real and serious threat from our community. The FBI and its MATCH Task Force will continue to work with its area law enforcement partners as it maintains it’s much needed vigilance in protecting our children from those who would exploit them.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and evidence presented in court: On Saturday, March 1, 2014, McGill responded to an Internet advertisement named “casual encounters” purportedly posted by a mother who was seeking a man to introduce her thirteen-year-old daughter to sexual intercourse. McGill communicated with who he thought was the girl’s mother by e-mail and texts throughout the evening and into early Sunday morning, March 2, 2014. With his wife out of town at a conference, McGill put his children to bed, and then drove more than 50 miles from Douglasville, Ga., to Lithonia, Ga. He arrived at the “mother’s” house at 1:45 a.m., with a condom in his pants pocket. However, the “mother” was an FBI Task Force Officer, and McGill was arrested.

McGill, 57, of Douglasville, Ga., was the principal of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Douglas County, Ga., until he was arrested on March 2, 2014. He was convicted after a two-day trial. Federal District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr., remanded McGill into custody and set sentencing at 9:30 a.m. on February 6, 2015.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Cobb County Police Department, and the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney William G. Traynor prosecuted the case.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.Presse-mails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

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