Hartzog committed to state treatment facility for sex offenders

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 08:02 AM.

CHIPLEY — The first civil commitment case under the Jimmy Ryce Act to be heard in Washington County occurred Tuesday when a jury found Alton Hartzog to be a sexually violent predator based on the evidence provided by the state.

As a result of the six-person jury’s finding, Hartzog, 73, will be committed indefinitely to the Florida Civil Commitment Center in Arcadia, where he has been held since his release from prison in 2008.

The case was tried in front of District Court Judge Christopher Patterson in Chipley on Tuesday.

“Basically, he has been locked up 10 years for a five year sentence,” said Marianna Attorney Crystal Marsh, representing Hartzog. Marsh is assistant regional counsel for the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, 14th Judicial District.

Hartzog, a former Washington County resident, pled guilty in 2004 to 14 counts of sexual performance with a minor in connection with photographs he took of a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old girl.

Hartzog was found guilty of possession of photo/picture showing sexual performance by a child in Bay County in 2004 and found guilty of possession of photo/picture showing sexual performance by a child  and producing, directing or promoting sexual performance by a child in Washington County court in 2004.

When asked if he recognized that taking the photographs of children was wrong, Hartzog replied, “Frankly, yes.” 

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