- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

DALTON, Ga. (AP) - A Dalton police officer hired earlier this year is facing a child molestation charge after a girl accused him of fondling her while he was off-duty.

Daniel Tolbert, 32, was arrested Thursday, Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker said. Parker said he learned of the allegations nine days ago and placed the officer on leave.

A woman reported Dec. 9 that her daughter said Tolbert fondled her and told her not to tell anyone, a Whitfield County sheriff’s report states. Tolbert wasn’t on duty at the time, police spokesman Bruce Frazier told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The woman’s daughter also said she once found Tolbert standing over her and taking pictures of her as she slept, The Daily Citizen newspaper in Dalton reported.

Tolbert was being held early Friday on one count of child molestation, Whitfield County Jail records show. The jail records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

Tolbert had completed the police academy in September and was still in the department’s field training program when he was suspended, Parker said.

“Because of his status as a trainee, Tolbert was never unsupervised or alone while on duty as a Dalton officer,” the chief said in a statement.

“I am very disappointed to hear about this allegation, and upset about the discredit this will surely bring on our department, and officers.”

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Information from: The Daily Citizen, https://www.daltondailycitizen.com

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