Paulding sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Cartersville man on a series of felony charges related to an “elaborate attempt” to ultimately meet an 8-year-old girl for indecent purposes in Hiram.

Brian Travis Cowart, 34, of Cartersville is facing child exploitation and attempted child molestation and enticement charges following his Nov. 1 arrest related to arranging with an undercover detective to pay for sex with the girl, said Sgt. Ashley Henson of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.

Henson said someone called the sheriff’s office Oct. 29 and said a person on an unnamed social media site was seeking to have sex with girls 5 to 10 years old.

An undercover detective on Oct. 31 then made contact with the suspect, identified as Cowart, in an online conversation which led to the suspect offering “a sum of money to perform sex acts on an 8-year-old girl,” Henson said.

“Cowart thought he was communicating online with the 8-year-old girl’s older sister,” Henson said.

Cowart then planned the next day to meet the “older sister” at a Hiram retail store “where she would deliver the 8-year-old victim to Cowart for a certain period of time,” Henson said.

“Upon Cowart’s arrival, he was swiftly taken into custody by several detectives from the Juvenile Investigations Division who were waiting on him in the parking lot,” he said. Cowart was being held in the Paulding County Jail without bond.on charges of Criminal Attempt to Commit Child Molestation, Criminal Attempt to Entice a Child for Indecent Purposes, and Violation of the Computer/Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, all felonies.

Sheriff Gary Gulledge said adults have a “responsibility to keep children safe from online predators.”

“I want to encourage all parents to keep an eye on your child’s online activities and know who they are communicating with at all times,” Gulledge said.

Henson said detectives are encouraging anyone who had online contact with the suspect to call Lt. Starry Kilgore or Sgt Lenny Carr of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Investigations Division at 770-445-6105.

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