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March 6--  An Emanuel County grand jury has returned a 17-count indictment against a Vidalia businessman.

johnwelchForty-nine-year year old John Welch was arrested by the GBI in early January on six counts of child molestation and two counts of aggravated child molestation.

District Attorney Hayward Altman sought additional charges against Welch and the grand jury indicted him on eight counts of child molestation, three counts for enticing a child for indecent purposes, three counts of sexual battery against a child under age 16, two counts of aggravated child molestation and one count of statutory rape.  The allegations in the indictments date back to 2014.

The GBI says one of Welch's victims lives in Vidalia and two others were Vidalia residents at the time of the crimes.

Welch lives just north of the Toombs County line in Emanuel County and is Chief Executive Officer of Accordia Urgent Care in Vidalia, Dublin and Warner Robins.

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