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White County Middle School teacher accused of sexually abusing student

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A special education teacher at White County Middle School is in jail charged with allegedly sexually abusing a student. 54-year-old Leonard Amos Jones was arrested September 4th. He’s charged with three counts of sexual assault, three counts of aggravated child molestation, three counts of sodomy, and three counts of reckless conduct, according to a news release from the White County Sheriff’s Office.

The arrest summary attributes the reckless conduct charge to “HIV infected person”. White County Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Kelley says that charge was filed against Jones under O.C.G.A. 16-5-60. That section of state law relates to conduct and/or assault by HIV infected persons.

A notice posted the day after Jones’ arrest on the White County School System website read:

“Over the weekend, the District was contacted by White County Sheriff’s Office regarding accusations against a self-contained, special education teacher at White County Middle School. This individual is no longer in the classroom.  The District is cooperating fully with law enforcement in the investigation. Our priority is taking care of all of our students.”

White County Sheriff Neal Walden says the sheriff’s office received a report from a parent Saturday, Sept. 2, of inappropriate contact that had been occurring between a teacher and a student at White County Middle School, according to WRWH Radio.

Walden says Jones was arrested “As a result of our investigation and some forensic interviews and interviews that normally go along with this type of investigation.”

White County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson says the school system has started the process of terminating Jones’ employment.  He says there is a required legal process that must be followed since there has been no conviction on the charges.

“I can definitively say he will not be back in any White County school,” Wilson told reporters.

The alleged crimes happened on campus.

“The information we had is it had happened there at the middle school, so from there our investigation has gotten us to this point,” Walden told WRWH. “The school has been very helpful to us. Mr. [Jeff] Wilson and I have talked on several different occasions in the last couple of days, and we’re working together to try to get to the bottom of the total incident.”

Capt. Kelley says the investigation is active and ongoing. “Right now we just have one (victim) but there’s a possibilty of other victims,” he says. “It’s a tragic situation.”

Jones is being held in the White County Detention Center in Cleveland.

Updated 9/6/17

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