HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Madison County Sheriff's Office says the quick actions of a school official helped lead to the arrest of a child predator in a horrific abuse case.
It highlights mandatory reporting in Alabama, making sure authorities are made aware of allegations so they can be properly investigated.
A student in Madison County stepped forward to someone in their school about shocking crimes and the school turned to the sheriff's office. It led to the arrest of John Curtis Mullins, 53. He faces charges of Transmitting Obscene Material to a Child, Rape and sexual abuse.
"There was a child in rural Madison County that went to school and some obscene material was transmitted to the child and the child reported it to a school official. That school official, automatically without hesitation, reported it to our deputies," said Lt. Donny Shaw, public information officer for the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators followed up on it, working with the Child Advocacy Center to conduct interviews and warrants were issued.
Officials say it shows the importance of Alabama's mandatory reporting laws.
It requires those in a position of authority who are made aware of allegations of child abuse or neglect to report it law enforcement. Lt. Shaw says the Madison County school system has consistently done just that, helping shed light on these kinds of cases.
"Then law enforcement and DHR follow up on the information that's reported to them and go down the right avenues for prosecution and protecting the child that's involved," Shaw said.
Mullins, meanwhile, remains in the Madison County Jail with a 137,000 bond.
"Schools, counselors, doctors, anybody in a position of authority- if a child reports something to you, that you need to report it immediately to the law enforcement agency that covers your area so they can properly follow up the investigation on it," Shaw said.
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