Deacon Sylvester and his wife charged with child cruelty

SYLVESTER, Ga. (WALB) – A south Georgia church deacon and businessman who was arrested on nearly 70 child sex charges in May has been indicted by a grand jury.

A 21-page indictment shows Jerry Heflin faces 26 counts of various charges, including aggravated sodomy, aggravated child abuse, sexual contact by a foster parent in the first degree, incest and rape.

According to the indictment, between August 2016 and August 2017, “Jerry Dan Heflin… engaged in a sexual act with… a person under the age of 10, in violation of the laws of said state.”

He went on to say that within the same time period he “committed an immoral and indecent act with a girl under the age of 16… with the intention of arousing and satisfying his own sexual desires.”

Jerry Heflin’s wife, Lisa Heflin, is also named in the indictment and faces three counts of cruelty to children under the age of 18 for “causing a child… cruel and excessive physical and mental pain by knowing that Jerry Heflin was committing sexual acts with said child and failing to report said acts to law enforcement.”

In May 2024, following Jerry Heflin’s arrest, authorities investigated his business in Sylvester, Lizzy B’s. On Tuesday, July 9, she was arrested and booked into the Worth County Jail.

According to District Attorney Bryce Johnson, the next step in the process is arraignment, which is scheduled for August 15.

“I would expect that through his attorney he will plead not guilty on that date and then it will be put on the trial calendar,” Johnson said. “It may take a couple of terms in court, but I think we should be able to do that in the next year or year and a half.”

Lisa Heflin was released on Tuesday, but Jerry Heflin remains behind bars.

Read the full indictment in this joint case.

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