'They could be taking pictures of your kids’: Lee Co. community shocked after man arrested on dozens of sexual exploitation of children charges

Lee Co. Sex Crime Arrest

LEE CO., Ga. (WALB) - The Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has arrested a Leesburg man on several child exploitation charges.

LCSO said Tony Rizzo was arrested by the special victim’s unit Friday.

An investigation into Rizzo began in January, according to LCSO.

Investigators said Rizzo was initially charged with 11 felony counts of child sexual exploitation during the early stages of the investigation. However, he was charged with an additional 25 counts, bringing the total to 36, by the end of the investigation.

Tony Rizzo of Leesburg was arrested today on over 30 felony counts of sexual exploitation of children. This is an on going investigation with the Lee Co Sheriffs Office.

Posted by Marilyn Parker WALB on Friday, May 31, 2019

Parents respond to charges

Creating safe spaces in your neighborhood for your children can be a challenge.

“I mean they could be taking pictures of your kids as they are outside playing, I mean my kids ride their bikes throughout the neighborhood,” said Rebecca Wilson, a parent in Lee County.

Wilson and others are in shock after learning deputies arrested Rizzo Friday for child pornography.

“I just have no words, really, on that one,” Wilson said.

“I don’t even know where to begin with that, it’s just ridiculous,” said Justin Carter, another Lee County parent.

Investigator Danny Alday said they got a tip from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Officials arrested Rizzo in January for 11 counts of sexual exploitation, but it didn’t stop there.

“Based upon that additional investigation, we determined that he was responsible for another 25 counts, so bringing the grand total to 36 counts,” explained Alday.

Deputies arrested Rizzo again, Friday.

Officials said each count represents each picture or video of children of all ages.

Carter said he’s keeping an even closer eye on his kids now.

“That’s way too close to home for something like that to happen in Leesburg, it’s crazy,” said Carter.

“Thirty-six counts is high number and it should definitely bring awareness to the community,” said Alday.

The community is what Wilson said she relies on.

"Even the people in the neighborhood who don’t have children, they know to watch out for our kids,” said Wilson.

The investigator told WALB that these cases take longer. They want to make sure they’re getting as much information on these criminals as possible.

The special victims unit is still investigating.

Copyright 2019 WALB. All rights reserved.