An Evans man pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from sexual exploitation of children to possession of controlled substances at a Thursday arraignment in Columbia County Superior Court.
Jack Wayne Andrews, of the 4500 block of Hardy McManus Road, is charged with one count of child molestation, seven counts of sexual exploitation of children, three counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of threatening of a witness in official proceedings, said Assistant District Attorney Bobby Christine.
According to the grand jury indictment, Mr. Andrews forced a girl younger than 16 to watch sexually explicit images on a television. The indictment also accuses Mr. Andrews of reproducing sexually explicit photographs of children younger than 18; illegally possessing the prescription drugs dextro-propoxyphene, Flurazepam and Diazepam; and threatening physical harm in an effort to keep a witness from reporting the child molestation charge.
Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said Mr. Andrews was originally arrested in connection to the case in December 2000. He was arrested again Thursday and was taken to the Columbia County Detention Center. His bond has not been set.
"After a yearlong investigation, he was indicted today," Capt. Morris said.
Although Mr. Christine said such cases are rare in the Augusta area, "there have been others, and this office has successfully prosecuted them."
Mr. Christine said the next step in the case will be to set a trial date.
Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 110, or firstname.lastname@example.org.