0

Teacher now faces 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children

A Dougherty County Magistrate Court judge has denied bond for Brian Owen Brannen

Brian Owen Brannen, a teacher who had a non-instructional assignment with the Dougherty County School System when he was arrested Friday, faces 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children. (Special photo)

Brian Owen Brannen, a teacher who had a non-instructional assignment with the Dougherty County School System when he was arrested Friday, faces 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children. (Special photo)

ALBANY — Brian Owen Brannen, arrested Friday on a charge of sexual exploitation of children, now faces a total of 10 counts, though authorities say more may come.

Brannen remained in the Dougherty County Jail on Wednesday after being denied bond by a Magistrate Court judge, officials said.

At a news conference Monday, Capt. Craig Dodd, with the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, said Brannen was arrested when the execution of a search warrant at his residence at 539 N. Westover Blvd. showed child pornography visible on his bedroom computer.

Further examination of Brannen’s computer by forensic experts has prompted nine additional charges of sexual exploitation of children against the suspect, with “probably more to come,” Dodd said.

“(Brannen’s) computer continues to be examined, and I believe we’ll end up with a lot,” Dodd said.

Brannen also faces two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia for two suspected marijuana pipes and a possible firearms violation charge for a handgun discovered at his residence, Dodd said.

R.D. Harter, director of media relations for the Dougherty County School System, said Monday that Brannen, a teacher who had been assigned to a non-teaching role at Radium Springs Middle School before his arrest, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome on the investigation.

According to Dodd, Brannen has no history of child pornography related offenses, with only a previous simple battery charge on his record.