Former Chilton County educator arrested on child sex charges

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A former employee with the Chilton County School System now faces child sex charges in Georgia.

John McGill, 56, was arrested Sunday as part of an undercover investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit and the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

McGill, along with 13 other individuals, were arrested over a four-day period called “Operation Broken Heart” and charged under the Computer and Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 1999.

According to a release by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, those arrested traveled from all parts of northern Georgia with the “intent to meet a child for sex.”

Chilton County Superintendent Dave Hayden confirmed on Tuesday that McGill was a former principal at Thorsby High School and band director at Jemison High School.

Although Hayden was unable to provide specific dates for when McGill was employed in Chilton County, he said McGill served as the band director at JHS for several years in the 1980s.

McGill was principal at Thorsby High School during the late 1990s.

At the time of McGill’s arrest, he was employed as a school principal at Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Douglas County, Ga.

The school website listed a statement from Douglas County School Superintendent Dr. Gordon Pritz saying the school system was taking the matter seriously.

“He [McGill] has been suspended by the system pending the law enforcement investigation,” the release said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the purpose of “Operation Broken Heart” was to arrest individuals who “communicate with children online and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex.”

The release from GBI said, “Online child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the internet, find children, begin conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose of having sex.”

Thirty-seven law enforcement agencies and prosecutors participated in the undercover investigation along with the GBI’s Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit and the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center.