Hearing set for Harlem Junior ROTC instructor charged in student sex case

Mitchell Sivas: Former JROTC instructor is accused of having sex with a student.

THOMSON — A former Harlem High School JROTC instructor accused of having sex with a student will soon be in court in McDuffie County.

Mitchell Sivas’ case is March 4. It had been scheduled for September in McDuffie County Superior Court, but was continued because of the illness of his attorney, K. Emerson Gilliard.

If Sivas chooses a jury trial, the case could come before the court the week of March 18. If he waives his right to a jury trial, his case could come up in late June. Sivas, 57, of Thomson, resigned from Harlem High School last spring after he was confronted about his relationship with a then-17-year-old Harlem senior. He was charged in April with sexual assault of a person in custody, a charge that refers to any teacher who has sex with a student who attends the same school. The law does not allow the student’s consent as a defense.

The student has since graduated from Harlem. Sivas remains free on $10,000 bond.

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