BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Robert Leland Grant is charged with two counts of a school employee having Sexual Contact with a Student Under 19, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators say charges relate to incidents that happened while he was employed by John Carroll High School in 2013.
Investigators say three girls were approached and two became victims. The female victims were 16 years old when it all started, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Chief Deputy Randy Christian says a third teenage girl notified school administrators after Grant made advances toward her.
In a court deposition, Robert Leland Grant apologizes for his actions and explains how the relationships started and progressed with students of John Carroll High School while he was working as a teacher there in 2013.
In the deposition Grant describes interaction that began with texting and led to the exchange of sexually explicit photos and what investigators call contact of a sexual nature.
In February 2014 the Principal at John Carroll High School issued the following statement about the situation.
Dear John Carroll Families,
In the interest of open and transparent communication we would like to share with you the following statement:
Recently, we were made aware of unfortunate incidents involving two of our students and a teacher. Once notified by a concerned parent of a possible student-teacher relationship, we contacted DHR and notified our legal counsel who, in turn, hired a private investigator who aided the principal in investigating the allegations. Once it was determined that the allegations appeared credible and criminal, we contacted the Sherriff’s department who is in the process of conducting their own investigation. The teacher has resigned. At this point, the allegations which have been revealed deal with situations of heavy petting.
The protection of minors is of the highest priority at John Carroll. The school is in a position to respond to the needs of its students and staff.
Charlie McGrath, Principal
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Randy Christian says Grant resigned immediately upon being informed of the investigation by school administrators.
“He’s been cooperative in our investigation and in fact has admitted to what happened, to the things that we found so you know another career down the tubes, but that’s not our concern. Our concern is for our young people,” said Chief Deputy Randy Christian, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says investigators subpoenaed phone records and do not believe there are any additional victims. According to the Sheriff’s Office three girls were approached in all and there are two victims.
“We had to subpoena some phone records, it took quite some time to get those and go through them but you Know that culminated in his being charged in two cases,” said Christian. “He faces charges in court now.”
Chief Deputy Christian says the inappropriate contact occurred off campus between May 2013 and December 2013.
The charge is a Class-A misdemeanor under Alabama law.
“I think an interesting fact is pre-2011 in this case there would have been no charges, because this was just touching of a sexual nature. That law changed in 2011 and rightfully so,” said Christian.
WIAT 42 News reached out to the family of one of the victims, but the family declined to comment.
Grant was arrested and booked in the Jefferson County Jail on Monday and released on an $11,000 bond, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News