by: Liz Artz Updated:
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - A probation officer in Douglas County is accused of groping one of his probationers.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested Paul Williams on sexual assault charges. He has also been let go from his job following an internal investigation.
The victim, who did not want to be identified, told Channel 2’s Liz Artz she felt degraded after the incident.
She said Williams, 57, had been her probation officer for nearly a year when he made inappropriate comments, asked her to pull up her shirt and groped her during a mandatory visit.
She said she didn’t know if she should scream or cry.
The woman said she went back the next day and tried to make an audio recording of what occurred the day before. You can hear her mention the incident and then Williams asks her if she is recording the conversation.
Douglas County investigator Cindy West said the recording was the key to the investigation. She said there is a strong case and that the recording corroborates what the woman told investigators.
The incident happened in May 2012, but even with the recording, the woman did not report the incident until March 2013. She said she feared he would send her back to jail or retaliate.
West said it’s very common for victims to delay reporting such incidents when perpetrators have power over their victims.