Two Catoosa County, Ga., teenagers were arrested this week on allegations that they inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl.
Investigators with the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office charged a 17-year-old Ringgold boy and his 15-year-old girlfriend with child molestation Tuesday. The boy remains in jail in lieu of a $20,000 bond.
Sheriff Gary Sisk said Friday the girlfriend was charged as an adult with aggravated child molestation -- a crime that is more severe than child molestation because it results in an injury or involves sodomy.
If convicted on that charge, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated 16-6-4(d), the teenage girl would face at least 25 years in prison and would be on probation for the rest of her life.
On Friday, the girl's mother said her daughter is innocent. Public defender David Dunn, whose office represents the teen, could not be reached for comment Friday.
The victim's mother told police that, from Aug. 15 through Sept. 29, she let her daughter and 4-year-old son spend weekends at a home in Tunnel Hill. Later, the 7-year-old girl told a doctor that the 15-year-old inappropriately touched her, according to the arrest report.
During the investigation, detectives heard allegations that the boy also molested the child. On Friday, Sisk said he could not give any details about the case.
"I have to be careful about how much I get into it because it's still a pending case," the sheriff said. "We don't want to get into too much of the facts just yet."
The boy's mother said that her son denied the crime.
"He doesn't even know who [the victim] is," she said.
"I don't understand anything that's going on," she added. "He could be at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6476.