Officers then learned that the molestation was committed by a 15-year-old girl, Stewart said.
The ensuing investigation was turned over to Sgt. Sheryl Brown, a juvenile investigator with the Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigation Division.
Authorities say that due to the nature of injuries the victim sustained and information obtained over the course of Brown’s investigation, the 15-year-old girl was arrested and charged with aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and cruelty to children, all felony charges.
Because of the nature of the crimes alleged to have been committed by the suspect, a request was submitted to the Spalding County District Attorney’s Office to move the trial to Spalding County Superior Court. This request was then taken before Juvenile Court.
This resulted in the decision to try the suspect, Chrystal Gail Beam, as an adult for the crimes she allegedly committed against the 7-year-old girl.
Beam is being held in the Regional Youth Detention Center without bond.
The investigation also resulted in the arrest of Beam’s grandmother on charges of tampering with evidence, as authorities allege she destroyed evidence pertinent to the molestation investigation.
In an unrelated case, Stewart reported that 61-year-old James Kenneth Butler, of Griffin, was arrested for child molestation.
Details of the case against Butler cannot be released at this time, Stewart said, but the sheriff wanted to reach out to the community in the event additional children may have come in contact with Butler.
If anyone has information pertaining to the investigation of Butler, he or she should contact Brown at 770-227-9406.