Gerbert guilty on six felony counts
by Alex McRae
A Coweta County Superior Court jury deliberated late into Saturday night before finding Alexander Sean Gerbert guilty on six felony counts arising from child molestation charges filed against Gerbert in 2010, according to Coweta Judicial Circuit Assistant District Kevin McMurry, who prosecuted the case. McMurry said the jury was hung on five of the counts.
Sentencing on the guilty verdicts is scheduled for Aug. 7.
Charges against Gerbert included child molestation, aggravated sodomy, sexual battery, incest and sexual exploitation of children.
Superior Court Judge John Simpson presided over the trial. McMurry was lead prosecutor. Herb Cranford, also an Assistant District Attorney, was on the prosecution team and examined many of the witnesses. Attorney McCall Calhoun defended Gerbert.
The case dates back to 2010, and involves two of Gerbert's female stepchildren, then aged 9 and 15. Authorities began the investigation after hearing allegations from the 9-year-old girl.
McMurry said that in September, 2010 the younger child told her mother and aunt about the alleged abuse and a police investigation began, directed by Investigator Jason Fetner of the Coweta County Sheriff's Office.
During the investigation Fetner learned that the young child had a sister several years older who had been in constant trouble and had a history of running away and abusing methamphetimine.
During the investigation the older girl told Fetner that Gerber had begun abusing her as a child and that she acted out and ran away to get away from him.
The older girl eventually became addicted to methamphetamine. She told Fetner that Gerbert knew of the addiction and how desperate the girl was to buy the drug. She told Fetner that on occasion, Gerbert would offer her money in exchange for sex, and at times, she compiled.
She also told Fetner that Gerbert had taken pictures of her in lewd and suggestive poses and she believed the pictures still existed. A search of the Gerbert home uncovered an iPhone hidden under a mattress which was forensically investigated and found to contain pornographic images, some including the young girl.
McMury said when the investigation reached the point when an arrest was imminent, officers learned that Gerbert had just fled Coweta County.
During the trial Gerbert insisted that while he was aware of lewd, pornographic pictures of his two stepdaughters and was aware they were stored on family computers, he had not taken the photos or encouraged them to be taken.
Gerbert said the girls admitted taking many of the pictures. "That's what girls do."
He said a nude photo of one of the girls found on his iPhone during the investigation had probably been placed there by his wife in an effort to extort money from him.
Gerbert admitted he and his wife had a troubled marriage that included several affairs. He said his wife used the pictures and molestation charges to gather evidence in a potential divorce action.