Georgia woman arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of children

A 45-year-old Habersham County woman has been arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of children.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Kristina Townsend was charged with the Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) on Friday.

The GBI Unit began an investigation into Townsends’s online activity after receiving a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and later associated that single cybertip with other multiple cybertips. The information received was related to the upload of suspected child pornography by Townsend using popular email applications. A search of Townsend’s residence and electronic devices produced evidence which led to the arrest of Townsend, GBI officials say.

Townsend was taken into custody and booked into the Habersham County Jail. The GBI was assisted in the investigation and the execution of the search warrant by the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office. The Rabun County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with this investigation.

This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the child pornography trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Unit at 404-270-8870. Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.