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Peach Co. deputy fired, accused of 'sexting' teen | News

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Peach Co. deputy fired, accused of 'sexting' teen

A Peach County deputy has been fired after being accused of exchanging nude photos with a teenage girl.

Sheriff Terry Deese says deputy Donald Blake Burnham was arrested Monday and fired Tuesday. He's charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a child.

The sheriff says he believes Burnham was having a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old girl for several weeks. Because Georgia's age of consent is 16, he said, the relationship by itself was not illegal.

"But this is definitely not conduct that I would tolerate from a deputy," Deese said.

Georgia's sexting law says it's illegal to share explicit photos with a person under 18, he said. The case came to light several weeks ago, Deese said, when the girl's parents contacted him.

They brought the girl's phone, and investigators took Burnham's work and personal phones. Deese said they found both texts and nude photos sent between the two. He would not say whose photos were involved. He was suspended Oct. 21.

Deese said Burnham, 50, has been with the department for two years. He's also a former Byron and Macon police officer.

Burnham served as the school resource officer at Peach County's alternative school. But Deese said the girl did not attend any of the Peach County schools, and he's not sure how the two knew each other.

Burnham was released on $8,450 bond Tuesday.


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