THOMASVILLE — Two governors will become involved in the case of a Florida man indicted in Thomas County unless the defendant reaches a new degree of cooperation.

Willie Wortham was to have been arraigned in Thomasville Monday.

“He’s refusing to sign a waiver of extradition,” said Jim Prine, Thomasville-based assistant district attorney for the Southern Judicial Circuit.

Wortham, 410 21st St. East, Palmetto, Fla., is being held in the Manatee County Jail in Bradenton, Fla.

He was indicted recently in Thomas County on:

• Aggravated child molestation

• Two counts aggravated sodomy

• Aggravated sexual battery

• Two counts child molestation

• Two counts enticing a child for indecent purposes

The charges against Wortham, 59, stem from a July 2004, incident at a U.S. 19 South motel in Thomasville.

The incident involved two girls, then 7 and 9, Wortham brought to Georgia on the pretense of attending a family reunion, Prine said.

Because the suspect is fighting extradition to face charges here, Florida and Georgia governors will issue appropriate documents to bring about his eventual transfer to Thomasville.

Prine said Wortham and the children, who are related to each other, left the Bradenton area July 2, 2004, and returned two days later.

The children were staying with their grandmother, who was approached by Wortham, a relative.

Prine said Wortham told the grandmother he wanted to take the girls, a foster child in his and his wife’s care and his spouse to a family reunion in Georgia. First, the group was to visit Deland, Fla., near Florida’s east coast.

“The grandmother lets them go,” Prine explained. However, only Wortham and the girls went on the trip, and the sole destination was Thomasville, he added.

The suspect and children arrived at the Thomasville motel late on a Friday night. Witnesses at the motel said Wortham checked in with the girls and no one else.

The day after the girls returned home, the seven-year-old complained of pain when urinating and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. She also had a cut in her genital area.

One of the girls confided in a family member about what happened at the Thomasville motel, the assistant district attorney said.

The child said Wortham gave her and the other girl candy and forced them to engage in oral sex, Prine explained. Digital penetration also took place, he said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation presented the agency’s findings in the case to the district attorney’s office.

“We have venue. The case happened here. We didn’t want the guy to get away,” Prine said.

He added that Wortham has no substantial criminal record.





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