George Arthur Proulx is a 66-year-old inventor and scientist with a few patents to his name, among them a “railgun system” designed to “launch a projectile by injecting liquid aluminum between the armature and a pair of electrically conductive rails.” He’s previously lived in Castro Valley, Calif.
A year ago he bought a $339,000 house at 113 Brittany Lane in Palm Coast. Sometime after that, according to his arrest report, he started taking runaway girls to that house, several of them 14 or 15, drugging them, and performing sexual acts on them.
On Monday, following a six-month investigation, Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Proulx and charged him on a count of statutory rape, two counts of molestation and two counts of interfering or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Three of the charges are second-degree felony, each exposing him to a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
Last November 18 deputies had located four juveniles near the area of Celebrity Resort at 98 Palm Coast Resort Boulevard near European Village. All four had been reported missing out of Volusia County. They told deputies that they’d been picked up in Daytona Beach by a man called George, and that he’d taken them to a house at 113 Brittany Lane.
There, the juveniles said, he had sexual contact with all four of them. Three of the girls are 15, one is 18 as of today. One of the girls reported he allegedly assaulted her daily, including instances when he forced her to perform oral sex on him. Another girl alleged he continuously molested her, touching her on her private parts. A third said he “roofied or put something in my drink and raped us.” She described herself as going completely numb after he allegedly drugged her, and recalling seeing him on top of her before she passed out. She recalls waking up completely naked.
All four girls identified Proulx using “a functional equivalent simultaneous photo array,” his arrest report states.
Proulx, according to his arrest report, admitted to having sex with two of the girls, but called it consensual. (There is no such thing as consensual sex between an adult 24 years old or older and a child younger than 16. The law recognizes a distinction between outright rape, a first degree felony, and statutory rape, a second degree felony. The difference is a matter of force: if the victim is forced at any point, the graver charge applies. If the victim is younger than 12, the graver charge applies either way.)
Throughout the interview with detectives, Proulx admitted to buying the juveniles cigarettes and alcohol and providing them with cocaine during their stay at his house. He said he was remorseful over not contacting law enforcement once he discovered the girls were runaways.
Flagler County Sheriff detective James Crosbee led the investigation.
Crosbee was working with the State Attorney’s Office on charging him when he received information that Proulx was planning to leave the country to move to Thailand, one of the world’s leading destinations for child-sex tourism.
County Judge Melissa Distler signed Proulx’s arrest warrant on Monday, and ordered Proulx to surrender his passport. He is being held at the Flagler County jail on $40,000 bond.
“We are thankful the juveniles came forward and told us what happened to them,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Detective Crosbee and our Major Case Unit did a great job obtaining the necessary evidence to build the case and get this offender behind bars before he could flee the country. Thailand is known to be an epicenter of human trafficking, so it’s no surprise that’s where he wanted to go. We pray the victims get the psychological help they need since this pervert took their childhood away from them.”