‘Our justice system has failed us’: Man removed from sex offender registry faces new molestation charges
NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - After Derrick Crooms was removed from the Georgia Sex Offender Registry, he was again arrested on 18 charges related to molestation, incest, and rape.
"He took my innocence when I was seven," said Jeanie Fulcher, now 34. "I don’t know if you can ever really heal from that."
GET BREAKING NEWS EMAIL ALERTS FROM FOX 5
Fulcher said she decided to publicly come forward with her story to encourage other victims to go talk to law enforcement.
Court records show that Crooms pleaded guilty in 1996 to molestation charges for what he did to Fulcher, his cousin by marriage. A judge sentenced him to 20 years, but he only served four.
"It happened to me for a year before I had the courage to tell someone about it," Fulcher said.
On Friday, U.S. Marshalls arrested the Covington man at a house in Stone Mountain.
"In December 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit received a request for assistance from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of numerous sex offenses against children by Crooms," GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Lindsay Marchant said in a news release. "The investigation revealed that these crimes allegedly occurred in Newton County, Georgia, as well as several different locations throughout the United States."
In 2017, Crooms successfully petitioned a judge to remove his name from the sex offender registry despite Fultcher’s objections and his guilty plea.
"Their argument was that he was a changed man and he was a model citizen that didn’t get in trouble anymore, hasn’t committed crimes since," she said.
Fulcher believes these new charges show that he hasn’t changed, and he should have never been taken off the sex offender registry or put back on the streets.
"I do think that our justice system has failed us," she said. "I believe that once you plead guilty to raping children, molestation charges, you shouldn’t get out of prison at all. You shouldn’t get a second chance."
His removal from the sex offender registry meant he could travel freely with his wife, Rachel Overton, who the GBI alleges failed to stop the serial molestations.
WATCH: FOX 5 NEWS LIVE COVERAGE
DOWNLOAD THE FOX 5 ATLANTA APP FOR BREAKING NEWS AND WEATHER ALERTS