The trial of DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann on indecency and obstruction charges will get underway on July 7 at 10 am in Fulton County Superior Court.
Mann is accused of exposing himself to an Atlanta Police officer last month in a portion of Piedmont Park known for sexual activity after dark.
At an arraignment hearing Friday morning, Mann pleaded not guilty to both charges before Fulton Superior Court Judge Crystal Gaines.
On May 6, at 11 p.m., an officer in that part of the park said he saw Mann feeling his penis through his pants and walking toward the officer. The officer said he hid behind a tree to prevent Mann from seeing him.
When Mann got close enough, the officer shined his flashlight on him and Mann fled the scene. The officer ran after Mann and demanded that he stop but he continued to run. After a brief chase, Mann finally surrendered and was taken into custody.
Mann is currently serving a self-imposed suspension for what he called 'conduct unbecoming an officer,' and stressed his penalty was not an admission of guilt. The self-imposed suspension is through Sunday, June 4.
On Wednesday, Mann appeared in court to dispute an executive order signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, appointing a three-man special committee to investigate the charges against him.
The governor's investigation was requested by the Georgia Sheriff's Association when Mann refused to step down from his post. Mann's attorney, Noah Pines, said Deal did not have the authority to conduct the investigation but was overruled.
"An ordinance violation is not a crime by definition," Pines said. "It's not an 'alleged crime,' it's an ordinance violation."
The attorney general's office argued that Mann's actions are worth looking into.
"He could face imprisonment with these charges, and certainly, the highest law enforcement official of a county," said attorney Rebecca Dobras. "These kind of charges are concerning."
Prior to the July 7 trial date, the judge said a pre-trial hearing will take place, but she said the date for that hearing would be announced at a later point.
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