It appears a trial is impending for a former Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman who is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old student while in his capacity as her driving instructor in October 2016.
Both attorneys in the case against Frank Huggins, 74, of Cumming, told Forsyth County Superior Court Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley they are ready for the case to move forward to a trial, which Bagley set tentatively to last four days.
Rafe Banks III, an attorney at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland LLP who is representing Huggins, did not indicate in Wednesday’s jury calendar call that Huggins intends to plea down his charges of felony sexual assault of a student and misdemeanor sexual battery, though negotiations between parties in a case are always possible leading up to the trial.
A trial date has not been set.
Huggins is accused of engaging in sexual conduct on Oct. 4, 2016 with the teenager by touching her “inner thigh” while “being a teacher at Lanier Technical College with supervisory authority over [the victim],” who “the accused knew and should have known was a student.”
The sexual battery charge stems from Huggins supposedly “intentionally” making “physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of [the victim], without the consent of [the victim].”
When Huggins was indicted in February, Banks told the Forsyth County News that nothing “improper occurred.”
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office at the time of his arrest, the incident reportedly occurred while Huggins was conducting a driving lesson with the girl.
Huggins has no prior arrest history in Forsyth County.
He served the sheriff’s office from 2001 to 2010 as a member of former Sheriff Ted Paxton’s command staff and as a spokesman for the agency. He retired as a captain in 2010.
According to his personnel file that was obtained by the Forsyth County News, the only mark on his record while at the sheriff’s office was an eight-hour suspension without pay after his second at-fault accident.
The accident only caused damage to the bumper of his patrol vehicle. No one was injured.
He was awarded a medal of merit in 2010.
Assistant District Attorney Sandra Partridge is prosecuting the case.