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Parapro charged with sexual battery

Middle school student alerted officials

POSTED: December 8, 2012 6:25 p.m.
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Pilcher

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A 26-year-old paraprofessional at a Forsyth County middle school has been charged with sexual battery against a minor.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Marvin Shane Pilcher of Old Atlanta Road was arrested Wednesday following an investigation into a complaint.

Pilcher was released Saturday from the Forsyth County Detention Center after posting a $5,610 bond. He is scheduled to appear Jan. 2 in Forsyth County Superior Court.

According to the sheriff’s office, the Forsyth County school system contacted investigators Monday after a Riverwatch Middle student alerted school officials.

“As a result of the investigation, we made an arrest,” said Sheriff’s Maj. Dan Jagoe.

The age and gender of the student have not been released, and the investigation is continuing.

Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system, said Pilcher is a South Forsyth High graduate who had worked for the district since 2009.

He was a teacher’s assistant for special education and a certified paraprofessional, Caracciolo said, but did not have a college degree.

A cached online document of school clubs on Riverwatch’s site lists Pilcher as the sponsor for its chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as does the Forsyth Dawson FCA Web site.

The Riverwatch administration detailed Pilcher’s arrest in a letter Wednesday to parents and staff.

In the letter, Pilcher is described as a “former paraprofessional” who is “no longer employed” by the school system.

The letter states that the investigation was launched immediately after officials learned of the allegations Monday.

It goes on to note that, “Forsyth County Schools takes allegations of this nature very seriously.  The safety and security of our students is our number one priority, and we will not tolerate this type of behavior.”

Information provided by the school district defines paraprofessionals and those who “work under the direction of professionally certified teachers, to meet the educational, behavioral and social needs of the students.”

Paraprofessionals must have a valid Georgia Professional Standards Commission paraprofessional certificate.

According to the school system, all employees must complete a criminal background check and not be listed on the sex offender registry.

In addition, reference checks with prior employers and professional preparation faculty must be conducted, among other requirements.

The information goes on to note that “periodic criminal background checks are performed on all employees throughout their employment with the school system.”

 

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