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Oakwood man faces sex abuse charge in Montana
Lester Mathews Sharpton

A convicted sex offender from Oakwood has been arrested in Montana after authorities say he was downloading pornographic photos off the Web to a library computer.

The Fairfield, Mont., Sun Times reported today that Lester Mathews Sharpton, 57, was charged with sexual abuse of children and transported to the Teton County Jail in Choteau, Mont.

Sharpton is listed on the Georgia sexual offender database. The Sun Times reported he was convicted in 1997 of criminal sexual contact with a minor and was on probation in Georgia until August 2002 for "enticing a child for indecent purposes." He also is listed as a sex offender in New Mexico, the arrest affidavit states.

Sources told the Sun Times that Sharpton is a retired military officer who had been living out of his truck in the area. Federal agents with Homeland Security as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement are involved in the investigation, the paper reported.

According to an affidavit filed Tuesday with the Justice Court of Teton County, sheriff's dispatch received a call from an employee at the Choteau Public Library stating that a man was seen looking at "inappropriate pictures of underage boys on one of the library's computers."

Witnesses at the library saw the man "downloading images to a ‘jump' drive."

The affidavit, signed by Teton County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Gjerde, stated that a deputy responding to the call was told the man drove off in a pickup with a Georgia license plate. The deputy secured the library's computer.

Gjerde stopped the suspect and informed him of the charges. Sharpton told the deputy he was looking at "legal gay websites," according to the affidavit.

Story courtesy of Darryl L. Flowers of The Sun Times in Fairfield, Mont.