A 52-year-old Marietta man was arrested Monday and charged with sexual exploitation of a child and other crimes in an “undercover chat” investigation, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said.

According to Baker:

Howard Thomas Porter, a registered sex offender, had been communicating with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but the person on the other end of the electronic chats was a Cherokee Sheriff’s detective. The investigation began earlier this month and culminated with Porter’s arrest in Cobb County.

Porter is charged with three counts of obscene contact with a minor, six counts of sexual exploitation of a child and three counts of using a computer to solicit a child for indecent acts.

Porter remained in custody at the Cherokee County jail on Wednesday afternoon with bond set at $33,750.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible, Baker said.

According to court records, Porter used a social media app to chat with the Cherokee investigator posing as a 13-year-old girl.

The online conversations took place between Sept. 16 and Monday of this week.

The arrest warrant states that Porter asked the child for obscene photos of herself and messaged that he wanted to have sex with her. Late last week and continuing through Monday morning Porter reportedly discussed meeting the child at Hobgood Park in Woodstock for sex.

Cherokee County Chief Magistrate Judge James Drane signed an arrest warrant for Porter on Monday afternoon and the man was arrested by police in Cobb County later that day.

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