Man accused of trying to meet 12-year-old for sexual acts

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:12 PM EDT
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GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - An Appling man is facing charges after authorities said he sent explicit messages to someone he believed to be 12 years old.

The Grovetown Police Department and the Waynesboro Police Department participated in this operation.

Evan Popplewell, 30, is charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes and two counts of obscene internet contact with a child.

Officials say a member of the Waynesboro Police Department, who is assigned to the GBI Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, was contacted on May 29 by Popplewell through a social media app.

Popplewell began sending sexually explicit messages, according to authorities. Throughout the investigation, Popplewell was reminded that he was talking with a juvenile and continued to send messages and made several requests to meet in person for the purpose of performing sexual acts, according to authorities.

Authorities said Popplewell traveled to Grovetown on Thursday believing that he was going to meet the juvenile in the parking lot of the Walmart at 5303 Wrightsboro Road.

Surveillance showed Popplewell arriving and parking in the car he described, according to authorities. Popplewell then exited the vehicle, authorities said.

Popplewell was then taken into custody.

Officials say Popplewell suffered minor injuries during the arrest and was taken to a local hospital for treatment before being booked into the Columbia County Detention Center.

Officials want to remind parents to be aware of their children’s social media presence and to monitor it diligently.