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St. Marys man accused of child molestation, bestiality

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SAINT MARYS, Ga. – What began as a call to 911 about an overdose led to the arrest of a man accused of sexually exploiting children and using an animal to perform a sex act. 

Ronnie Lee Ely, 23, of St. Marys now faces multiple felony sex charges. 

According to an arrest warrant obtained by News4Jax, the investigation into Ely began in July when paramedics were called to treat him for an apparent drug overdose. While paramedics were treating Ely, a St. Marys police officer at the scene noticed Ely’s phone on the floor next to him. The phone was handed over to Camden County investigators as evidence and a search warrant was obtained to see if anything on the phone could be linked to Ely’s overdose. 

During the search of the phone, investigators found multiple disturbing videos of child pornography, according to the warrant. Investigators noted it appeared Ely recorded some of the videos off a computer screen with his cell phone.

Although a description of what investigators saw was not redacted for the report, News4Jax can confirm the details were both descriptive and disturbing.

During the course of their investigation, Ely admitted committing a sex act with a Boxer breed dog at a location on East 4th Street in St. Marys in 2014, according to the warrant. Investigators also noted they found several videos of animal pornography on his phone.

After Ely was arrested on the warrant, he told investigators he sent and received pornographic videos while using the KIK app, according to the warrant.

According to investigators, he admitted to taking pictures of children in bathing suits and then sending those photos to a chat group on KIK in exchange for child pornography videos. 

Ely was initially arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of children and bestiality, but after detectives spoke with multiple witnesses and gathered more evidence of sexual misconduct, the charges upgraded to three counts of child sexual exploitation, bestiality and child molestation.

As of Monday, Ely remained in the Camden County jail without bond.

Detectives are asking anyone has children who are or have been acting suspicious after having contact with Ronnie Lee Ely, to call the Sheriff’s Office. They want to find out if there are more victims involved in this case.


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