A Surrey Center businessman faces three sex charges after he struck up a relationship with a 15-year-old Evans boy and made a secret delivery of sex toys to the boy at a Jones Creek Golf Club restroom, authorities say.

Randy Mercer, 57, of Augusta, was charged Friday with aggravated child molestation, child pornography and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

According to a Columbia County sheriff’s report, the boy’s mother reported in January that her teenage son had developed a relationship with an adult male over the Internet. She said Mercer had asked her son to send him inappropriate pictures.

The mother said her son made it clear he was 15 years old to Mercer during their online relationship, which was generated on grindr.com, the sheriff’s report says. According to the Internet, Grindr is the largest and most popular all-male location-based social network out there.

According to the boy’s mother, Mercer asked if he could come to the juvenile’s home to give him a package. “The juvenile denied the request but told Randy he can drop it off in the bathroom of the 13th green at the Jones Creek golf course,” the report said.

The package was delivered around November, but the teen ended the relationship after retrieving the package.

The mother later found the duffle bag inside her son’s room. “Contents of the bag include various sex toys, dildos and male under garments,” the sheriff’s report says.

During an investigation, officers discovered that Mercer actually met the boy three times in Evans for the purposes of having sex, according to a warrant.

Mercer, of Downing Street, Augusta, owns Peach Augusta, a woman’s apparel store at Surrey Center. A recent Augusta magazine story on the business owner shows him wearing a woman’s skirt and talking about his 30-year career as a makeup artist and celebrity stylist. A YouTube video states that he has a client base that includes Glenn Close, Brad Pitt and Sarah Jessica Parker.

For now, Mercer remains in the Columbia County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.


    • Why is it that you all are over looking the fact that this 15 yr old met this man on grindr.com, an “ADULT” hookup website that stats in their TOS (terms of service) that you must be over 18 to have a profile on their site?
      Where was his mother when this kid was placing his profile on that site looking for a guy to have sex with???

      • No one is ‘overlooking’ anything…the article clearly states the KID identified his age to this man. TOS only covers this situation within the confines of the website usage. ..clearly you are looking to make everyone responsible for this except the perpetrator. The kid went on a website and ignored the TOS and his Mother didn’t oversee his online activity. Lock them both up! As for the gentleman in custody – free him immediately! ! How about we have Mom pay restitution or the kid on a chain gang for his devious role! Give it a break. I’m certain you wouldn’t be harping on the TOS subject if it was your 15 year old son being gifted dildos by a grown man. Or..maybe you would?

    • This is an ignorant and bigoted statement. Also, exactly why I am so angered the Jail Report even “reported” on the skirt thing. This man was featured in Skirt Magazine’s ” He’s So Original” section that they have each month and the man featured is done so wearing a Skirt (the name of the magazine)…no where is it stated this man is a cross dresser….but, the Jail Report chose to add this just for sensationalism. That is so pathetically wrong.
      Here is a link to Skirt’s site with this feature…you will see all the men that have been in there recently. http://skirt.com/skirt-hes-so-original

      • Only in your opinion honey. The rest of us normal people, who believe in men being men and women being women have just as much right to believe what we believe as you do. Actually you’re defending what the result of going down the wrong road brings. Damn and I was just defending you.

    • Never would Le Chat Noir, it’s owners/staff, nor any of its patrons ever condone the actions of pedophiles such as this jackass.
      And btw, less than 20% of said patronage are homosexuals, and less than a tenth of those are transvestites. I don’t personally care for the crossdressing either, but I still go to events there sometimes, and can attest to the good people there. Slandering a completely unrelated group of people or business is unnecessary, and you sir are looking to heap on ill-intentioned drama for no reason. Why? How about sticking to the subject instead?

  1. Did he really know this kid was 15? The kid lied about his age to have a grindr.com profile…..15 yr olds and many 18 yr olds don’t look much different. My daughter knew kids in high school that looked the same sophomore to Senior years….. When you guys meet someone do you card them if you meet them in an adult place (online or in person).
    I also do not believe sex offenders can be rehabbed…but, no where have I seen this man has a previous history. This kid was on grindr.com looking for sex…that’s what the site is for. I am a very outspoken activist for tougher sentences for sex offenders and for signs in their yards upon release from prison as well as requirement to wear SCRAM ankle monitors …. BUT, I also know what teenagers are capable of…I was once a very wild one, and I have raised teenagers myself. I don’t think of a 15 yr old that lists himself of a sex hook-up site as a “innocent child”….as long as this guy didn’t forcibly rape this kid…which there is nothing in the report that says this was the case….then I think the kid as well as his mother should be held at least partially responsible…… he was trolling an adult gay hookup site, and his parents were not monitoring his internet activity.
    Unless it is proven that this man found out this was a 15 yr old and then continued to pursue him, then I am feeling sorry for this man’s reputation and name being pulled through the mud because a horny kid lied on a website. I mean, this is an ADULT site, this man was looking to meet an adult for sex….if the kid was on there, he was misrepersenting who he was….TOS (terms of service) of grindr.com says this…
    (and from their Profile Guidelines:) ”
    No photos of anyone under the age of 18.”
    So this kid was in violation…grindr obviously needs to change their membership guidelines to where you must have a credit card in your own name to join as a age verification, and also require a copy of a picture ID to be mailed/emailed to them…any adult hook-up site (and there are many for various types of couples) as well as dating sites should require this to assure kids are not accessing the site. AND parents need to be on top of where online their kids under 18 are an are doing.
    I personally think anyone that meets up with someone privately that they meet on a website is careless. You are risking your life. Think about all the people that have been raped or murdered from Craig’s List ads…many of who answered a ad for something totally nonsexual related. In this day and age, there is no excuse for anyone to be stupid, especially if you are on the Internet.

      • The would know instantly if this guy was a previous sex offender. He wasn’t on a Disney channel chat room …he met this kid on an adult sex hookup site. That doesn’t bother you that this kid was on there looking for a hookup?

        • Children do dumb things, that’s why you can’t vote until you are 18, you can’t drink until 21, you can’t drive an automobile until you pass a test at 16, and even then there are driving limitations.
          There is NO justification for Mr Mercers behavior. I suspect a lot more will be coming out about him. I rest my case! I’m signing off on this issue.

          • Kids do dumb things which is why parents need to be active in all areas of their lives. If he knew this kid was 15 then yes I agree 100%, but this kid needs consequences too…especially so other kids know they won’t be allowed to get away with it if they try to make a fake profile. Thank God this kid’s body wasn’t found somewhere ….this is a danger for adults that meet with strangers they met online for casual sex…..this is something that can’t be excused as “dumb kid behavior” because the next kid that tries it could end up meeting up with someone that could kill them. This boy needs consequences for his actions and it needs to be made publically clear how dangerous his behavior was and what could have happened.

  2. Also…… I am appalled by the Jail Report becoming a “Sensationalism Paper” ….this line from the above story irked me, ” A recent Augusta magazine story on the business owner shows him wearing a woman’s skirt and talking about his 30-year career as a makeup artist…” This tells me he was featured in a issue of SKIRT (a free magazine paper that is all over the place, similar t Bella, Verge, Metro Spirit) that is geared for women and each month features a local male businessman, etc…in their, “He’s So Original” section and this featured man is wearing a Skirt (the name of the magazine). Check out all the men they have featured: http://skirt.com/skirt-hes-so-original
    I feel the Jail Report included this info simply because this man is a gay man. That is so WRONG! Leave the sensationalism to the National Enquirer, etc…

      • I am not defending I just know that people lie and someone’s name shouldn’t be trashed until proven guilty. When I was 15 and 16 I had a fake ID and was out meeting grown men….I had no supervision and my childhood experiences made me very wild. I do not hold the men I was with accountable, I met them in adult settings where I shouldn’t have been implying I was old enough to be there.
        My problem is everyone is acting as if this was an innocent child being lured by a pervert. ..innocent children don’t list themselves on hookup websites ….this kid needs consequences for his actions with the authorities as well.

      • Yes it should. If this man found out this kid was 15 and continued to go after him, then yes he should be punished…but the 15 yr old should face consequences for his deviant behavior ….listing himself available for sex…which is what grindr is for….and making fake profile…which he had to do to be on the site….is not ok either.

  3. “The mother said her son made it clear he was 15 years old to Mercer during their online relationship, which was generated on grindr.com, the sheriff’s report says. According to the Internet, Grindr is the largest and most popular all-male location-based social network out there.
    According to the boy’s mother, Mercer asked if he could come to the juvenile’s home to give him a package. “The juvenile denied the request but told Randy he can drop it off in the bathroom of the 13th green at the Jones Creek golf course,” the report said.”

    So, did this mother know her 15 yr old kid had a grindr profile that violated grindr’s TOS ?? If so, then I think the mother should be charged with child neglect for not taking care of that matter. Grindr is an adult gay man’s hookup site. Not a place for 15 yr olds.

    • You think just because the mother told the cops these things she was condoning them? I think it’s more likely that the mother found all these facts out after everything came to light and just relayed it to the investigators.

          • She should have been monitoring his activity and the first sign of something not 15 yr old appropriate, his Internet usage should have been terminated. Smartphones, iPad s, laptops are all privileges . If the privilege is abused its lost plain and simple….you got caught accessing an inappropriate site, then you lose the privilege of the Internet for anything other than homework which will be done sitting with me to make sure that is all you do. I was never afraid to be the “mean mom”….I wanted safe, healthy kids with bright futures ahead of them. If that meant being a strict, mean mom, so be it. My kids were never in any kind of trouble or scary situations, I have two that are happily married with degrees and now are moms themselves and are also “mean” and my youngest is in a private college on the Deans List, and a double major. I think being a mean mom paid off.

    • Apparently you don’t have a teenager! Parents can’t oversee every second or moment their child is awake! Do you realize Columbia county allows middle and high schools to bring cell phones, iPods, tablets, iPads to school? Yes, a 6th grader, an 11 year old, has access to the Internet at school! The 57 year old pervert is the person that needs to be locked up.

      • My youngest child is now 19. I was always on top of her activities and she was taught right from wrong…as were her older sisters.
        This kid lied about his age to make a profile to access an adult website ….and I. aiken county school internet is blocked and if you get caught with your phone it is taken BTW….. you can not chat with people on this site without a profile and you have to have a date of birth stating over 18 in order to do so. This kid wasn’t on a teen or kid site….or a site where teenagers are welcome. If one of my kids were caught doing something like that they would have lost their phones, laptops and all internet privileges. I also checked all history…even what was erased, nightly when my kids were underage. They had zero privacy until they turned 18.

      • If this man knowingly kept after this kid if he found out the kid was 15, then yes he needs to be punished. But that kid needs consequences as well for being on an adult sex site. Also. If Columbia County doesn’t block adult and in appropriate websites from their WiFi then the parents should do something about that. Also parents should nightly be checking their children’s browser history… if you’re allowing your 11 yr old 6th grader free reign to the Internet then you are not doing your job as a parent. Until November of my daughter’s senior year after she turned 18, I monitored her cell phone…it was in my hands once it was phone off time. I checked her laptop history…it was not in her possession after lights out. I had the right to search her backpack, bedroom, etc if I felt I needed to. That was my job as her parent…to make sure she was doing what she was supposed to and not something that could ruin her life. I did a good job too, she is I. College a double major and on the Deans List, and is very focused. I wanted her and her older sisters to have a better life than I did. I was abused and neglected as a child and on my own and unsupervised as a teen…which is how I became the teenage mother of my oldest. I know first hand what teenagers are capable of and can get into. I wanted my kids to do and be better than me.

    • The 57 year old man did something illegal. I’m sorry you’re his friend, but he is a sick man. Pedophiles are untreatable whether gay or straight. The recidivism rate is around 99.9%. There’s no cure for his deviant behavior!

      • I am not his friend. I am also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse…as a child. Then as a teen I was an aggressor looking for men.
        This kid advertised himself for sex on a sex hookup website. Yes the man needs to be investigated and if indeed he did discover this was a 15 yr old he does need punished….but, this kid who advertised himself by making a profile under false pretenses needs to be dealt with as well.

      • I am a very outspoken activist against pedophiles….if you knew me and my childhood you would know why and if you lived in my area you’d know I am active In the crime watch in our community. I also agree with you 100% that a pedophile can not be rehabilitated. But, this man has no priors or when arrested they would have come up….I am also looking at the fact he was on an adult sex hookup website looking for a sex partner and this 15 yr old had a fake (it had to be fake to be on there as it is an 18 and over site), profile advertising he was looking for sex as well. Grindr and all the sites like them are disgusting…people looking for casual sex…I don’t understand people that look for sex that way at all. But, if they are adults that’s there business. My problem is no one seems to care that this kid was on that site to begin with, all also, if this man was truly a predator, wouldn’t he have been in a teen or kids chat room or website…..lurking on or vine, kik, even Twitter or Facebook? Grindr is a sleazy adults only “meet me here to_______” sex site. It doesn’t bother you this kid was on there? How long was he there? Did he hook up with other men that no one knows about? If his mother hadn’t found the duffel bag would he still be on the site talking to strange men? None of that bothers you? The kid was not completely innocent in this.
        Also, since this has been reported in such detail about grindr, how many unsupervised teenagers have now accessed that site to see what it is. I also feel grindr is partially responsible…they should require a credit card age verification…that way a minor is not able to access it.

    • Are you insane? I’ve read your commentary on this subject and it boggles the mind. How you continually draw responsibility back to the 15 year old or his mother is absolutely disturbing. You claim you had experienced sexual abuse as a child- so I’m assuming, by your repeated tone, that you may primarily blame yourself for that abuse and may feel the abuser played a very minor role in it. Spare me the 3000 word response. Just know this: the more you type, the more disturbed you seem.

  4. Garbage defends garbage. This man is garbage..a waste of damn oxygen and it’s sad that the ignorant will defend or attempt to rationalize behavior such as he has displayed. And yet, some exist to attempt to make of victim of the accused and to prosecute those who they harm. Consensual or not- the grown man preyed upon a kid who hasn’t lived long enough to truly know right from wrong and yes, no matter how your own aberrant mind may excuse or explain it in some obtuse manner- the young man was victimized. Write a post as long as War and Peace attempting to justify the adult’s behavior – it still doesn’t change the salient facts.

    • If you were in a bar and a 15 yr old girl with a fake ID came on to you, you left with her thinking she was d enough….she was drinking in a bar after all…. so when it came to light you would want to be labeled a pedophile ?
      I am not saying it shouldn’t be investigated or that this man is completely without fault …but this kid advertised himself for sex on an adult sex hookup site. That isn’t ok and there should be consequences for him as well

        • Yeah and she has a point. I wasn’t stupid when I was 15, nor was I gay for that matter. What she is saying is this boy is no innocent babe in the woods. I’ve got kids and grandkids; I’m holding one in my photo and you wouldn’t want to see what slop would be left over if a pedophile touched one of my grandsons. However… This kid knew exactly what the score was.

    • I also am not garbage ….I am a mother that made sure I knew where my kids were and what they were doing when they were minors
      My kid was not allowed to date till senior year, until age 18 I had possession of cell phone and laptop after lights out….I checked internet history and phone records. I wanted mine to have a totally different life than I did. I wanted my kids to be kids as long as possible without them doing things that could/would ruin their lives.
      I am an activist and advocate for child sexual abuse and domestic violence. I am not condoning pedophiles in anyway…if this man truly found out this kid was 15 and continued to meet up with him. Then yes he needs and deserves to be punished….but this kid was not an innocent child lured by a monster in this either. He was on an adult sex hookup site looking for hookups…..that is what grindr is for, to hook up for casual sex…it’s disgusting but legal if you are 18 or older….this kid lied about his age to create his profile so his credibility is shot right there. He needs to be held accountable for his actions as well. I don’t know the age of consent in Georgia but in South Carolina the age of sexual consent is 16…if he had been a year older and lived across the river even though he would still not be old enough to be on grindr he’d be old enough to consent to sex….this is wrong. Which is why parents need to actually parent their kids and be up in their business and monitor what they are doing. There are so many wrongs in this whole story . It’s sad and disgusting but this boy still needs to be held accountable for what he did wrong.

    • You said the kid is bit truly old enough to know right from wrong. What gets me is…we don’t know how close to 16 this boy is….if Gus birthday is in May for example, 3 months from now he suddenly and miraculously knows right from wrong? The age of sexual consent in Georgia is 16, and according to the Georgia law web site the age gap only applies if the child is 13 to 15 and the other person is 16 to 18. So, a mere 3 months would make the difference ?
      Also, you said the kid was victimized…..yet the kid was actively looking for a partner on this website …do we know for sure Mercer is the only guy he hooked up with? If the mom hasn’t found the duffel bag 2 months after he got it, would this kid still be active on grindr? Why didn’t the kid get rid of the duffel bag especially if as it states he broke off the relationship with Mercer after he got the bag.
      There are a lot of things in this whole horrible ordeal that don’t make sense and add up.
      I don’t want to see any pedophile go unpunished ….but I also don’t want to see someone’s life ruined because someone else lied.
      I also think everyone that does wrong should be held accountable. If Mercer found out this kid was 15 and still continued to talk to and see him, then yes he needs to be punished. The 15yr old that went on an adult web site and misrepresented himself and advertised himself looking for sex, should also face consequences for his actions.
      If you are going by age and lack of ability to know what is right, does that mean a 15 yr old drug dealer should get a break? If a 15 yr old has sex with a 11 or 12 yr old ( remember these ages are in school together) that it would be ok because the 15 yr old is too young to know it’s wrong?
      15 yr olds are not innocent little kids …if they were Juvenile detention centers would not be full of them convicted of horrible and serious crimes.
      I just want to see a full investigation done. I also want to see the fact this kid was someplace he knew very well he was not supposed to be and lied to get access to, addressed and some consequences given.
      If Mercer did continue to see and chat with this kid once his age was known then, yes I want to see him locked up.

      • Shea, with all due respect, you can write a book on this scenario (which it seems you are attempting) with all the conjecture, opinion, ‘what ifs’ and ‘buts’ you can think of- It still won’t change the overwhelming consensus on this man’s crime or sway my opinion in the least. Have a wonderful day.

      • Who said the boy lied about his age? The article states that he CLEARLY stated his age as 15 and this man continued the inappropriate behavior. I don’t understand why you would question that. There is nothing in this article that even remotely suggests that this grown man believed the boy to be of age. If that were his defense, I would think they would have stated that.

        • Not that this matters now, as this story is very old…..but, this kid misrepresented his age to have a Grindr account. You must be 18 to have a profile on Grindr where the two met…..if you do to grindr.com and read their TOS it clearly states that by singing up you are stating you are 18 yrs of age…..grindr is a gay male pickup site….why was this kid on there to begin with? You need to re-read the article more closely before you try to argue it. But, like I said this article is like 7 or 8 months old now…

  5. This guy is a petaphile plain and simple…being sympathetic to his situation just makes you look foolish… What has happened in this country that someone would even publicly defend this man?