Police: Student sexually assaulted at Wayne Co. school
WAYNE COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Police in Wayne County say a student at the county’s high school was attacked and sexually assaulted in a classroom by an instructor in the middle of a busy school day.
The family’s attorney says they’re afraid justice won’t get served. WTOC Investigates talked to police, the district attorney’s office, and the school district to find out where this investigation stands.
A warning - some details are disturbing.
Police say it happened on October 19 at Wayne County High School. Three days later, former JROTC instructor Harold Hill, 39, turned himself in to police.
Hill is charged with Sexual Battery and False Imprisonment after police say he attacked a student.
“This happened during an active day of school,” said David Dozier with Dozier Law Firm.
Attorney David Dozier is representing the student’s family. He says it’s one of the most disturbing cases, he’s ever taken.
“You’ve got hundreds of other people in close proximity to where this is occurring.”
Dozier says, given the evidence they had, he doesn’t understand why it took police 72 hours to arrest Hill.
“The investigation, as far as I know, should have been completed enough by that day to say, ‘go get em.’”
“As a police department, we take these calls very seriously,” said Capt. Chris Hamilton, Chief Investigator with the Jesup Police Department.
Hamilton explained the process. He says they spent a day investigating and then it took two more for Hill to turn himself in.
“Initially, there was a time lapse in an investigation like this right here, where there’s involving especially students, we want to do a thorough investigation to make sure we don’t miss anything that would jeopardize the case. So, we felt like we needed to do some interviews with some other students. We wanted to watch some video footage from the school and just follow-up on some stuff. And, once that was made, the following day I took warrants out,” Capt. Hamilton said.
We reached out to the Wayne County District Attorney’s office. They told us they can’t comment on a pending case. But Captain Hamilton says it’s a priority for the DA’s office, too.
“They are very adamant about prosecuting this case. Very serious about it.”
Still, Dozier says recent news surrounding key law enforcement figures in Wayne County, gave the family reason to be skeptical.
In March, former Jesup Police Chief Mike Lane was fired over sexual harassment allegations. And, as recently as September, former Wayne and Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson was charged for violation of oath and obstruction over her role in the Ahmaud Arbery case.
“There’s several blemishes. Lots of bruises. A lot of people in power positions that have been bad actors. But, now it appears that they have taken the steps to make sure that this is going to be prosecuted appropriately, and we just hope that justice will be served,” Dozier said.
WTOC called the Wayne County Jail where Hill was booked. We learned he got out the same day he was arrested, October 22, on a $10,000 bond.
We also tried to get in touch with Hill. We left his attorney’s office a message, and also talked to someone on the phone who said they were one of Hill’s family members.
As of this story, we have not heard back from Hill.
We also reached-out to the Wayne County School district. Despite multiple requests, the school district did not give us an interview, but they did give us this statement. It says, “Harold Hill, a JROTC instructor at Wayne County High school, has resigned from his position following an accusation of sexually assaulting a student at the school on October 19, 2021. Hill, age 39, is being charged with false imprisonment and sexual battery, according to the Jesup Police Department. The investigation is on-going at this time. Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Jesup Police Department at (912) 427-1300.”
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