Man pleads guilty to child molestation in Chuck E. Cheese's incident

A man police say exposed himself under a table at Chuck E. Cheese's while touching himself with children nearby admitted Wednesday to the accusation.

Kenneth D. McGhee, 22, pleaded guilty to child molestation and giving false information to an officer. Muscogee County Superior Court Chief Judge John Allen sentenced McGhee to five years in prison, followed by five years’ probation.

Prosecutors recommended that sentence, but McGhee chose to enter a “cold” plea, meaning Allen could have sentenced him to less or more. Assistant public defender Melvin Cooper asked for two years in prison, citing his client’s young age. The judge, however, opted to follow the recommendation of Assistant District Attorney David Helmick.

“I find this to be a pretty serious situation,” Allen said.

McGhee was 21 on Jan. 17, 2011, when he walked inside the Macon Road restaurant, sat down at a table with a woman and her children and began touching himself under the table. The woman thought it odd McGhee sat that close, because there were empty tables nearby, Helmick said.

“She noticed his hand in between his legs and he was doing something there,” he added. “He was looking around at the children who were at the table.”

At first the woman thought he was using a cell phone, Helmick said. Then she thought he might try to steal her purse. She then looked underneath the table and saw McGhee exposed and touching himself.

The woman got a manager, leading McGhee to run from the restaurant. The manager followed McGhee to a nearby store and waited outside until police arrived, Helmick said.

McGhee told officers he was 16, which led to the giving false information charge, the prosecutor added.

McGhee has remained in jail since his arrest. After serving his sentence, he must register as a sex offender, attorneys said.