Savannah High School's assistant principal that was arrested and charged for reportedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old student has now bonded out of jail.
The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department's Special Victims Unit arrested Assistant Principal Marvin Johnson, 43, after he was accused of sexually assaulting a Savannah High student off-campus at the end of January 2017. The incident was reported May 1.
According to the police report, a male 16-year-old 10th-grade student at Savannah High School claims Johnson sexually molested him. The report says the alleged victim told his mother, father and stepfather, who then all showed up at the school on the morning of May 1.
The victim reported that the incident happened on the night of January 31. He said he had to stay late after school for detention, and after detention, he met with another teacher to finish a test. He then helped another teacher to clean and move some items at the school and went to the basketball game where Johnson was supposed to take him home. However, Johnson took him to a convenience store and then back to his house instead. At that time, the victim said they went inside, Johnson turned off the lights, took off his pants and told the student to take off his clothes. The student says they had intercourse and he told Johnson to stop and get off. Afterward, Johnson took the student home.
Johnson turned himself into police and the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System on Monday. He is charged with sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority.
Johnson made his first appearance in court on Tuesday, and his bond was granted at $5,000. He has been ordered not to have any contact with alleged victims or the family members of alleged victims, and he has also been banned from the Savannah High School property.
Last week, we first reported that Johnson was reassigned to a different position not dealing with students while the allegations were investigated. School board officials say that is standard protocol for something as serious as this.
"Prior to an arrest warrant being served in this case, Mr. Johnson had been reassigned within the District to a non-school based position. This action was taken immediately after SCCPSS officials were made aware of the allegations and subsequent investigation," said an SCCPSS official.
Many parents say they can't believe it.
"They know this is not this man. They know because this is not his character. I will put my life on that. This is not Mr. J's character," said Mozell Kelly, parent. "If there is anything I can help him with, I will get my people together, and we will get together because we know Mr. J didn't do this."
"People who are placed in position; our administrators, our teachers, they have the professional duty to engage in students like that for those very reasons," said Johnnie Spaulding, reacting to the story on WTOC's Facebook. "I just want to say to the victim and any other victims that we stand in solidarity with you. We want these people out of our schools."
The SCCPSS released the following statement on Tuesday morning:
On the evening of Monday, May 8, 2017, SCCPSS officials were informed that Savannah High Assistant Principal Marvin Johnson had turned himself in to the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police as a result of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault that involved a student in an off-campus incident. Prior to an arrest warrant being served in this case, Mr. Johnson had been reassigned within the District to a non-school based position. This action was taken immediately after SCCPSS officials were made aware of the allegations and subsequent investigation.
SCCPSS remains deeply concerned with the seriousness of the allegations and intends to continue to cooperate with Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police officials to the fullest extent necessary. As Mr. Johnson is the suspect in an active criminal investigation the district has no further comment or available information.
While we continue to closely review the conditions of this matter our focus and highest priority remains on the safety and well-being of our students and staff.
Should anyone have any additional information pertinent to this case, they are encouraged to contact detectives of the SCMPD by calling 912-525-3124 or CrimeStoppers at 912-234-2020.
According to Johnson’s Georgia teaching certificate, he's been an educator since 1997. That's when he started his career as a music teacher.
According to district officials, he became the band director at Savannah High on August 12th, 1997.
In 2016, he received his tier II educational leadership certificate which qualifies him to be an assistant principal and in February of 2016, he was promoted to assistant principal.
His Georgia teaching certificate also appears to be in good standing. It does not indicate there have been any disciplinary actions taken by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission during his teaching tenure.
This incident remains under investigation by Savannah-Chatham Metro's SVU.
Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact detectives on the SCMPD tip line by dialing 912.525.3124.
Information may also be forwarded to CrimeStoppers at 912.234.2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.
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