We previously wrote about the case of a former ROTC instructor at a high school in Georgia accused of committing a sex crime.
Now, the man, 57, has been indicted by a grand jury in McDuffie County for his alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. The official charge that he will face, according to court records, is sexual assault by a person holding disciplinary authority.
The man is expected to be charged and arraigned in a hearing in mid-July.
This is the latest chapter in the saga of the man, who taught in Harlem, a suburb of Augusta, Georgia. He resigned from his job earlier this year, before his arrest on March 4, after denying he had engaged in a sexual relationship with the girl. The student allegedly admitted to their liaison.
After learning of the relationship, police in Thomson, Georgia, where the man lived, first said they would not seek charges against the man and sent the case to the Columbia County sheriff's office for review. That office said it did not have jurisdiction, leading the chief in Thomson to enlist the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The police chief has since resigned.
The girl's admission eventually led to his arrest. The student now has graduated from the school. It is not known if she and the man have a continuing relationship.
The former teacher could spend anywhere from one year to 25 years in prison if convicted. He also could face a fine of up to $100,000.
All teachers, even those who work with older high school students, need to know state laws regarding sex between teachers and students. In Georgia, when a teacher has sex with a student who attends school where the teacher works, a sexual assault has occurred, no matter what the student's age. Even if the student states that both parties agreed to sex, the teacher cannot use that admission as a defense or as grounds to dismiss the charges.
Source: The Augusta Chronicle, "Former Harlem High Junior ROTC instructor indicted on sex charge," Donna Branch Stillinger, June 18, 2012