According to reports out of Clarke County, a high school teacher is wanted on charges relating to her alleged inappropriate relationship with a student.
The School District has reported that they became aware of the inappropriate incident, reported it to local law enforcement, and placed the teacher on administrative leave. As of right now, the specific charges have not been reported. However - when more facts are released, it is important to understand that news outlets don't always use the proper information.
Many people - including news outlets and media outlets - use the following terms interchangeably:
Each of the offenses has separate sections in the Georgia code and must be defended differently. As a Georgia Sex Crimes Lawyer, I will outline the law behind sexual assault in today's post as to provide some clarity as to what the offense actually constitutes.
Sexual Assault in Georgia
Sexual assault is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-5-5.1 as:
Sexual assault occurs when a person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another individual engages in sexual contact with them.
The key terms here are “supervisory or disciplinary authority.” Relationships where one person has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another include but are not limited to:
- Teacher, principal, assistant principal, or other school administrators with students
- Probation officer, or parole officer with parolees or probationers
- Employee or agent of a law enforcement agency with a person detained or in custody
- Employee or agent of a hospital with a patient while being treated
- Psychotherapists with their patients
By law, sexual contact is any contact between the actor and a person not married to the actor involving the intimate parts of either person for the sexual gratification of the actor.
Sexual assault is classified as a felony in Georgia. The consequences of a sexual assault conviction will include a prison term between one and twenty years, a fine up to $100,000, or both. There are enhanced penalties when they other party involved is less than 16 years of age. The prison term increases to at least twenty-five years but no more than fifty.
Another implication of a sexual assault conviction is that they must register with the Georgia Sex Offender Registry as a sex offender. This means that the convicted individual will appear on the Georgia public offender database as well as the national sexual offender database.
If you or a loved one is facing an arrest or accusation of any one of the many Sex Crimes in Georgia, contact our offices today. Just as with any other crime - wrongful arrests and accusations happen with sex offenses as well.
Contact us today to receive a free consultation.