February 12, 2012

Mother: ‘He molested her’

Rachel Brown

— There were gifts of money.

There were strange comments.

That’s according to Amanda Salyer, who said that for some time she was uncomfortable with how much attention her father-in-law gave her 8-year-old daughter. She believes her father-in-law showed favoritism to the girl over her other two daughters, often giving her money, telling her he wanted to marry her and joking with her that she was going to be a “golddigger.”

Now, her father-in-law — Dalton State College professor Monte Salyer — is an accused child molester.

Monte Salyer, of 3010 Marran Drive in Rocky Face, was charged Wednesday with two counts of aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, two counts of aggravated sodomy and two counts of statutory rape. On Jan. 27, he was charged with one count of child molestation. He posted $15,000 bond on the first warrant and $30,000 bond on the second.

A Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office investigation found Monte Salyer allegedly molested an 8-year-old relative and two other children he befriended at church. Capt. Rick Swiney of the sheriff’s office declined to say whether Amanda Salyer’s daughter was among the alleged victims.

Amanda Salyer said her daughter told her that Monte Salyer, her adopted grandfather of five years, had “molested her with his hand” in her private area and “gave her an infection down there.” She said her daughter didn’t tell her what happened until Amanda Salyer began asking questions about the infection.

Amanda Salyer said her daughter is holding up despite the ordeal and is on medication for the infection.

“Mentally, she’s OK,” Amanda Salyer said. “She said she knows that God is protecting her, and she knows that God let it happen to her (because she was strong enough to tell someone so it wouldn’t happen to anyone else).”

Swiney said the sheriff’s office is investigating another case that may carry similar charges but he would not provide details.

“I think there’s more (victims),” Amanda Salyer said, “and they don’t need to be afraid to come forward. My daughter is only 8 years old, and she’s a very brave little girl, and she said she wants everyone to know that it’s OK.”

Monte Salyer is on leave from Dalton State where he is an associate professor of English as a Second Language.

He was not represented by an attorney during Friday’s bond hearing, and a home phone number for him could not be found. No one answered the door at his house on Saturday.