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Press Release

Former Douglas County Elementary School Principal Sentenced To Prison For Attempting To Entice A Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia

ATLANTA - John Harold McGill, the former principal of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Douglas County, Ga., has been sentenced to ten years in prison for using emails and text messages to attempt to entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.  McGill was arrested on March 2, 2014, and was convicted after a two-day trial in December 2014.

“It is deeply disturbing and disappointing that an elementary school principal would attempt to have sex with a thirteen-year-old girl,” said Acting United States Attorney John Horn. “We will continue to devote every resource possible to protecting children and prosecuting those who prey upon them.”

According to Acting United States Attorney Horn, the charges, and evidence presented in court: On Saturday, March 1, 2014, McGill responded to an Internet advertisement named “casual encounters,” purportedly posted by a mother who was seeking a man to introduce her thirteen-year-old daughter to sexual intercourse. McGill communicated with who he thought was the girl's mother by email and text throughout the evening and into early Sunday morning, March 2, 2014.

With his wife out of town at a conference, McGill put his children to bed, and then drove more than 50 miles from Douglasville, Ga., to Lithonia, Ga. He arrived at the mother's house at 1:45 a.m. with a condom in his pants pocket. But the “mother” was an FBI Task Force Officer, and McGill was arrested.

In addition to sentencing John Harold McGill, 57, of Douglasville, Ga., to ten years in prison, United States District Judge William S. Duffey ordered that McGill remain on supervised release for the rest of his life after his imprisonment ends.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Cobb County Police Department, and the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney William G. Traynor prosecuted the case.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is

Updated April 8, 2015