Sheriff's Office

Posted on: December 25, 2017

Pennington News Release

By Clayton County Attorney Alan Heavens and Clayton County Sheriff Mike Tschirgi.

           

It has come to our attention that a news release, which was not authorized by either of our offices, was circulated about a case involving David Allen Pennington, Jr., a criminal defendant who received a five year prison sentence. We felt this news story was sensationalized and misleading and that it was important for us to respond.

First, as the official press release from the County Attorney's Office said, the defendant was convicted of enticing a minor under the age of sixteen, not sexual abuse as the unofficial press story stated. Ultimately the crime involved sexual contact between the defendant and the victim who were both carnival workers. This was illegal because the defendant was 27 years old and the victim was 14.

The unofficial news release also appears to emphasize that the incident occurred at the Clayton County Fair. While this is true, we want to unequivocally state that the Clayton County Fair is one of the safest public places in the county. As anyone who has been to our Fair knows, there is a strong law enforcement presence at all times with at least 2 and as many as 7 Sheriff's Deputies on the fairgrounds at all times. These deputies have up to date procedures to follow in the event of a tragic event, weather, missing child, etc. Unfortunately, as the Pennington case shows, crime can and does happen in any place but when it happens at the County Fair, unlike many other places, law enforcement is literally only seconds away.

We remain committed to keeping the public accurately informed about Clayton County cases.

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