Fulton County sheriff's deputy indicted on human trafficking charges

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Apr. 29—ATLANTA — Attorney General Chris Carr has announced the indictment of Fulton County Sheriff's Deputy Courtney Lofton on one count of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude. Specifically, the defendant is alleged to have solicited a 17-year-old female for sex in October 2022.

"Those who wear the uniform are entrusted to protect and defend their fellow citizens, and when that trust is broken, it is difficult to restore," Carr said in a news release. "This indictment is part of a larger investigation conducted by our state and federal partners, and we will keep working with them to ensure all buyers are held accountable. We appreciate the assistance and cooperation of Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat as we continue our efforts to protect Georgia's children from human trafficking."

This indictment stems from a joint human trafficking investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit and Homeland Security Investigations.

"It is of utmost importance that officers who violate their oath to protect and serve be held accountable for their actions," GBI Director Mike Register said. "Our HEAT Unit is committed to making Georgia a safer place to live."

The Attorney General's Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit presented evidence to a Cobb County Grand Jury, resulting in Lofton's indictment on Friday. Lofton was taken into custody by the GBI with assistance from the Fulton County Sheriff's Office.

No further information about the investigation or the indictment may be released at this time.

In 2019, with the support of Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp and leaders in the Georgia General Assembly, Carr created the first-of-its-kind statewide Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

As of today, the unit has 54 defendants who are currently under indictment for sex or labor trafficking, with some facing charges in multiple jurisdictions around the state.

In 2022, the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit obtained six new convictions, led and assisted 33 case investigations, and rescued and assisted 116 victims.