According to reports out of Newton County, a teacher has been arrested for sexually assaulting students in March. Christopher Matyas has been accused of two counts of sexual assault with supervisory authority. Students and teachers came forward to report the alleged assaults on the same day.
The following terms are mistakenly used interchangeably:
Each of the above offenses has its own statute and is defined differently. As a Georgia Sex Crimes Attorney, I will outline the offense of sexual assault in our state as this is what Matyas has been accused of committing.
Sexual Assault in Georgia
Georgia Law defines sexual assault in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-5-5 as:
Sexual assault occurs when a person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another individual engages in sexual contact with them.
By law, sexual contact means 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. Simply put, sexual contact is any sexual contact that involves intimate body parts between two unmarried people.
Any of following people will have committed sexual assault when they engage in sexual contact with an individual that the actor knew or should have known they have authority over.
These roles include:
- Teacher, principal, assistant principal, or other school administrators with students
- Probation officer, or other employees that have authority over parolees or probationers
- Employee or agent of a law enforcement agency with a person detained or in custody
- Employee or agent of a hospital who has sexual contact with a patient while being treated
- Employee or agent of a correctional or juvenile justice facility, or disability facility; or
- Psychotherapists with their patients
Sexual assault is a serious sex crime and is classified as a felony. The consequences of a sexual assault conviction include a prison term between one and twenty years, a fine up to $100,000, or both.
There are even more serious penalties when the 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.