Former Auburn, Gwinnett football standout booked on child porn charge

A former Auburn University and Gwinnett County football standout — who has more recently been a youth coach, trainer and substitute teacher — spent Christmas in jail after being arrested on child pornography charges.

Brad Lester, 32, was a star running back at Lilburn’s Parkview High School before donning the Auburn uniform between 2004 and 2008. Gwinnett County jail records show he was arrested Thursday evening on one count of unlawful eavesdropping or surveillance and one count of creating or possessing child pornography with the intent to distribute, both felonies.

As of Wednesday morning, Lester remained in jail without bond.

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According to arrest warrants obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the incident that led to Lester’s arrest happened between 6 and 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at a Dacula-area restaurant. Lester was allegedly at the restaurant on Braselton Highway when he used his cellphone to surreptitiously film a juvenile male in a bathroom stall. 

Neither the alleged victim’s exact age nor the name of the eatery where the incident was reported were listed in the warrants. Two different restaurants are located at the address listed for the incident.

A Gwinnett County police spokeswoman said she could not release an incident report from the case, citing a section of Georgia law that restricts the release of records related to alleged child victims.

Wesley Person, who online records listed as Lester’s attorney, declined to comment Wednesday. Online court records suggested Person filed Tuesday a motion for Lester to be released on bond.

After leaving Auburn, Lester tried out for the NFL before briefly playing in the Canadian Football League. He later founded Athletes Elite Performance, a Gwinnett-based training company for young athletes.

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Earlier this year, Lester co-hosted a football camp with another Gwinnett County grad and former college football star.

“Lester … has trained a number of young Gwinnett athletes since finishing his college career through his company, Athletes Elite Performance, and has coached at the youth level and with Hebron Christian” Academy in Dacula, the Gwinnett Daily Post reported at the time. 

“Lester, who has an exercise science degree from Auburn, also works with Gwinnett County Public Schools as a long-term substitute teacher when he isn’t training athletes at the youth, high school and college levels in various sports.”

In a Wednesday morning email, Gwinnett County schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach confirmed Lester previously worked as a substitute for the school system but “had not worked recently.” 

“It is my understanding that he no longer is a substitute with GCPS,” Roach said.

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