College baseball player charged in online sting

Garrett Fiddyment

Garrett Fiddyment

WINDER -- A college baseball player from Milton is the latest suspect arrested in a months-long crackdown on Internet sexual predators in Barrow County, officials said Thursday.

Barrow County crime task force investigators arrested Garrett Fiddyment, 20, after he allegedly sought sex from an online acquaintance he thought was an underage girl, officials said.

The arrest marks the 10th by the Barrow County Sheriff's Office since the undercover operation began in September, said Investigator Matt Guthas, department spokesman.

An investigator from Statham police posed online as an underage girl and chatted with Fiddyment -- a Milton High School product who plays baseball for an Alabama junior college -- for about an hour before he suggested a meeting Wednesday, Guthas said.

"Fiddyment, who was in Athens at the time, drove to Barrow County to meet the female with the intent to have sexual relations with her," Guthas said. "Instead, task force investigators met him and made the arrest without incident."

Law enforcement agents also discovered a small amount of marijuana in Fiddyment's vehicle after the arrest, Guthas said.

Fiddyment is charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and three counts of violation of the computer pornography child exploitation act. He remains at the Barrow County Detention Center.

Fiddyment is listed as a freshman pitcher on the Calhoun Community College Warhawks' 2010-11 roster. Head baseball coach Mike Burns could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Guthas wouldn't specify the age of the girl Fiddyment allegedly thought he was meeting, as doing so could "heighten the suspicions of future suspects" in the ongoing operation, he said.

Georgia code defines an underage person in terms of sexual activity as someone under age 16.

"We can say that an undercover officer posed as someone who was 15 years old or younger," Guthas said.

As in previous incidents, officials used the arrest to remind parents to monitor children's Internet activity.

"We will continue to be aggressive and diligent in locating these suspects who are preying on our children," said Sheriff Jud Smith.