PTC man still in jail for fondling himself in front of 5-month-old


Fifty year-old Peachtree City resident Joseph Smirniotis remained in Coweta County Jail Monday morning after being charged with masturbating in front of a 5-month-old infant at the Newnan Barnes & Noble bookstore Thursday afternoon.

Smirniotis was charged with child molestation and public indecency, according to Newnan Public Information Officer Gina Snider. A $25,000 bond was set Friday but had not been posted Monday morning, Snider said.

The incident unfolded at approximately 2 p.m. Thursday at the Barnes & Noble at Ashley Park, Snider said. The infant’s mother was positioned a short distance from her child reading when she looked up and saw a man masturbating in front of the baby, said Snider.

The mother began screaming and the man fled, Snider said. Store employees and customers followed the man into the parking lot as he held his pants up while fleeing the store, said Snider.

Snider said the license number of the green station wagon was obtained by witnesses and relayed to Coweta County Sheriff’s deputies. Smirniotis was stopped near Thomas Crossroads and returned to the store where he was identified, Snider said.

Snider said Smirniotis is believed to be employed by the Federal Aviation Administration.