Local News

October 25, 2013

No sodomy charge for men allegedly caught in sex act in public park

Authorities in Murray County will not press sodomy charges against two men allegedly caught in a sex act at a public park after learning the act isn’t against the law.

According to jail records, Gerado Salomon Madrid, 48, of 89 Hunter Ridge Road, Chatsworth, and Jaime Mejia Robles, 33, of 421 New Zion Hill Road, Dalton, were both charged Tuesday by the Murray County Sheriff’s Office with sodomy and public indecency.

Chief Deputy Greg Fowler said the public indecency charges remain, but the sodomy charges were dropped later that evening when the arresting officer appeared in Magistrate Court. The judge, after consulting with the District Attorney’s Office, informed the officer that sodomy between consenting adults isn’t against the law.

Sodomy, which can refer to oral or anal sex, was illegal in Georgia until 1998 when the state Supreme Court found the law was unconstitutional as it applies to consenting adults. Fowler said the deputy made the charge based on a state law that is still on the books, and he wasn’t aware of the case law that essentially erased it.

Several people saw the men engaged in oral sex in a wooded area near a creek at Petty Park on Tuesday and called authorities, according to an incident report. The report states a deputy caught the men in the act and took them into custody without incident.

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