Ex-Valdosta cop heading to prison on child porn charge

Apr. 27—VALDOSTA — A former Valdosta police officer and school resource officer is heading to prison on a child pornography charge, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Jonathan Eric Hancock, 32, of Hahira was sentenced Wednesday to serve 190 months in prison — almost 16 years — to be followed by 12 years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to one count of production of child sexual abuse material in a plea deal, according to a justice department statement.

In addition, Hancock will have to register as a sex offender for life upon his release from federal prison.

Court documents show he was also ordered to pay restitution of $150,000 to his victim.

Hancock worked as an officer for the Valdosta Police Department from June 29, 2015 to Aug. 2, 2019, and during this time served as a school resource officer at J.L. Lomax Elementary School in Valdosta, the justice department said.

He was indicted in April 2022 on one charge of production of child pornography and one charge of possession of child pornography, the indictment shows.

Hancock was also previously employed with the Homerville Police Department from Dec. 12, 2020 to March 19, 2021.

Parents and guardians of children who might have encountered Hancock and have concerns related to this investigation can contact the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office at (229) 671-2950.

Terry Richards is the senior reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times.