January 8, 2013

Swiney: Relative came forward to protect others

Rachel Brown

— A Dalton man is in jail on charges related to allegedly molesting an underage female relative five years ago.

Edel Veiga-Rodriguez, 32, of 238 Opal Drive, was charged Thursday by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office with child molestation and sexual battery against a child under 16.

“The actual incident happened about five years ago, and it was just now recently brought to light,” said Capt. Rick Swiney. “The victim came forward because the gentleman was a family member who molested her, and she felt like he had access to another child now that he could possibly molest.”

Swiney said that child was interviewed, and investigators didn’t find reason to believe Veiga-Rodriguez had done anything to that child; but the detective’s office did find enough evidence to arrest him for what happened to the alleged victim.

“There was never any intercourse, just fondling, but the girl was 13 at the time,” Swiney said. “It happened a couple of different times.”

Veiga-Rodriguez was still in jail without bond as of Monday afternoon.