and kudos (sarcasm) to the 16-yr-old!
Heritage High School teacher arrested
By Roger Barnes
CONYERS — A 35-year-old Heritage High School teacher was arrested Saturday night and faces several sexual misconduct charges for his alleged relationship with a 16-year-old student at Heritage High.
“At this moment, the teacher is in jail,” James Ginn, the school system’s spokesman, said on Monday. “(Monday), we had a substitute teacher in his class. (Today), we’ll have a substitute teacher in the class. The Sheriff’s Office will conduct a criminal investigation, and we’ll investigate the teacher’s professional conduct.”
Jonathan McCutchen of 925 Hillside Mill Drive in Grayson, a math teacher in his first year with the Rockdale County School System, was arrested late Saturday night and charged with interference with custody, enticing a child for indecent purposes, sexual battery and sexual assault against a person in custody.
“The sexual battery charge involved an incident that occurred at the school,” Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington said.
He said he believes the alleged relationship between the teacher and student began some time around December.
Law enforcement officers became aware of the alleged relationship about 8 p.m. Saturday when a sheriff’s deputy was called to the site of a newly constructed home on Bordeaux Lane, which is in a subdivision off McDaniel Mill Road. According to the incident report, homebuilder Maurry Russell phoned the sheriff’s office when he noticed a suspicious car parked in the driveway of the unoccupied home.
According to the report, when Deputy David Wegemer arrived at the scene, he saw only McCutchen and Russell standing near the home. McCutchen told Wegemer that he was there “just looking to buy a house.”
As the home was searched, the 16-year-old girl was found sitting in the garage. Wegemer stated in his report that the victim told him the car belonged to her parents.
She also said McCutchen parked his car at Heritage High School and they drove to the house on Bordeaux Lane, Wegemer said.
“She denied any sexual activity,” he said.
McCutchen was arrested later that evening after the girl and her parents were questioned at the Sheriff’s Office.
McCutchen has been a teacher at Heritage for one year and is an assistant junior varsity boys’ soccer coach. He has taught for 12 years at schools in DeKalb and Walton counties. It is not known whether the girl is a student in his class.
“It’s a violation of the professional standards for a teacher and student to have that type of alleged relationship,” Ginn said. “We’ll conduct our own investigation.”
McCutchen is charged with sexual assault against a person in custody, which occurs when a person with supervisory authority takes advantage of someone under their care, said Myra Pearrell, Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
McCutchen is also charged with sexual battery, which is “intentionally making physical contact with a person without the consent of that person,” Pearrell said.
Interference with custody involves taking a child away from someone who has custody of that child — in this case the girl’s parents, Pearrell said.
Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read said if McCutchen is convicted on all charges, he could face up to 25 years in prison. As of presstime Monday, he was being held at the Rockdale County Jail on $26,000 bond.