A teacher from Georgia’s Archer High School, approximately one hour east of Atlanta, is facing charges of sexual assault after she allegedly had a relationship with one of her teenage students. Sarah Brooks, age 25, was a physical education teacher and is being accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student during a tutoring session off campus.
The arrest warrant states that while Brooks was employed as a teacher, she had sexual contact with a student whom she should have known, or knew, was a student enrolled in her school. She now faces felony charges of sexual assault by someone who had disciplinary or supervisory authority. During the investigation by the school, Brooks resigned from her position. She has not entered a plea at this time but has been released on a bond of $11,200.
Sexual Assault Crimes in Georgia
Sexual crimes come with a variety of negative connotations. Those accused are often assumed guilty before they even get to speak. When talking about sexual assault, people often use the terms sexual assault, rape, and sexual battery interchangeably, but that is not accurate. Each of these crimes has its own Georgia code and has to be defended against differently.
The crime of sexual assault happens when a person who has disciplinary or supervisory authority over another person engages in any type of sexual conduct with that person. Sexual contact is defined as any contact that occurs between the actor and a person not married to that actor that involves intimate parts of either individual for the sexual satisfaction of the actor.
Disciplinary or Supervisory Authority
Now that you know what sexual assault entails, it is important to understand exactly what disciplinary or supervisory authority is. According to Georgia code, it is defined as the following:
- A principal, teacher, assistant principal, or other administrator at a school.
- A probation officer or other employee that has any authority over a probationer or parolee.
- Agent or employee of a law enforcement agency that has a person in custody or detained.
- Agent or employee of a hospital who has any type of sexual contact with a patient that is being treated.
- An agent or employee of a juvenile or correctional justice facility or disability facility.
- A psychotherapist and his or her patient.
Any one of the above people will be considered to have committed sexual assault if they engage in any type of sexual conduct with a person over whom they should have known, or knew, they had authority. This does not include clergyman who have a relationship with parishioners.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Anyone convicted of a sexual assault in the State of Georgia will be found guilty of a felony. The penalties for such a conviction can include a fine as high as $100,000, and up to 20 years in prison. If the victim is less than 16 years old, the penalties can increase even more. The person found guilty of the crime must also register as a sex offender.
Due to these enhanced consequences, it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side if you are facing charges of sexual assault in Georgia. Contact the attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law today and let us ensure that your rights are protected.