Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Teachers' arrests on sex charges not linked, officials say

  • Follow Crime & courts

GRANITEVILLE --- In the past month Leavelle McCampbell Middle School's name has been linked to the arrests of two former teachers charge with criminal sexual conduct with former students, but parents of pupils say it's still a great school and the situations were just a coincidence.

Back | Next
Magni  Special
Special
Magni


On Monday, Joseph Jay Magni Jr., 28, of Lexington, was arrested for incidents that occurred with a 14-year-old girl at Aiken Mall Cinemas and the middle school earlier this year, according to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Another former Leavelle McCampbell teacher, Tammy Joy Key, 38, of Graniteville, was charged on Oct. 20 with four counts of a lewd act and four counts of criminal sexual conduct with a 14-year-old former student.

The Graniteville woman is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy at her home and at Leavelle McCampbell, where she teaches math, between 2005 and 2006, according to the sheriff's office.

"You can do background checks, but it doesn't mean you can always catch someone," said Andrea Van Buren, the parent of an eighth-grader.

Mrs. Van Buren said her daughter was in Ms. Key's class and never had a problem. Her daughter actually requested to transfer back to Leavelle McCampbell after she was rezoned for another school last year.

"It feels safe here," Mrs. Van Buren said.

Chris Rhodes, the father of a sixth-grader, said the administration has been great and "you can go to them about what you need to" with no problems.

"I think the leadership is good, I just want to know what they are doing to take care of it. We haven't heard anything from the school," he said.

Aiken County Schools attorney Bill Burkhalter said Ms. Key, who was employed at Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle when she was arrested, was being investigated, but Mr. Magni and Leavelle McCampbell were not under investigation.

Mr. Magni is not a school district employee because his contract with Aiken County was not renewed at the end of last year.

Mr. Burkhalter said when allegations are made teachers typically are placed on leave during the investigation, and law enforcement is brought in if there was criminal conduct.

In Mr. Magni's case no complaints were filed with Leavelle McCampbell Principal Jackie Barnwell to warrant an investigation, he said.

Mr. Burkhalter said the arrests weren't linked.

"Unfortunately in districts our size, from time to time these things do occur," he said.

Parent Mary Moseley said she discussed the arrest with her son, who's in sixth grade at Leavelle McCampbell, to reiterate that he should complain if anything inappropriate should ever happen.

"I feel it's getting harder to send your kids to school," Ms. Moseley said. "It's all of Aiken County, not just this school. If I have to show up and sit all day long in my child's class, I'll do that to make sure he's not being harassed."

Reach Julia Sellers at (706) 823-3424 or julia.sellers@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (10) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
SeniorMom
0
Points
SeniorMom 11/04/09 - 06:51 am
0
0
Mr. Magni's contract wasn't

Mr. Magni's contract wasn't renewed because of layoffs, not becuase of anything else. The school was asleep while he was molesting a 14 year old.

curly123053
5378
Points
curly123053 11/04/09 - 07:53 am
0
0
Maybe Mr Magni and Ms Key

Maybe Mr Magni and Ms Key should have gotten together them selves. Would have saved them a bunch of trouble.

gfwvaldostaga.
0
Points
gfwvaldostaga. 11/04/09 - 09:01 am
0
0
Shame! Shame! Shame on you!

Shame! Shame! Shame on you! you are suppose to set an example for our children not have sex with them! Are you so simple minded that you can't find someone your own age? How would you Feel if your child's teacher did the same thing to your child or do you even have children? Still no excuse for our teachers behaving so badly. It is pretty sad to think what our country has come to.

robbie1
0
Points
robbie1 11/04/09 - 10:06 am
0
0
The very people who our

The very people who our children should be able to look up to, as mentors, are preying upon them. I would hope that the SC courts do a better job than the ones in Florida and put those two animals away for a long time. I am so tired of reading about this sick behavior.

corgimom
38385
Points
corgimom 11/04/09 - 10:53 am
0
0
"Parent Mary Moseley said she

"Parent Mary Moseley said she discussed the arrest with her son, who's in sixth grade at Leavelle McCampbell, to reiterate that he should complain if anything inappropriate should ever happen." The thing is, they don't complain. For many reasons- they are afraid, they have been threatened, or even the flip side- they are "in love", they think it's flattering, it makes them feel special. Every parent teaches this to their child, but it happens over and over again. The best way to prevent this is keep a close eye on your children. Cell phones and computers now make it incredibly easy for these pedophiles to communicate with your children without your knowledge.

charliemanson
1
Points
charliemanson 11/04/09 - 12:45 pm
0
0
I wonder are these two

I wonder are these two teachers parents? And what has been going on behind closed doors with their kids?

Evans Ga.
0
Points
Evans Ga. 11/04/09 - 01:53 pm
0
0
Maybe they are putting

Maybe they are putting something extra in the water over there. I thought that it seemed like the water bills got higher for a reason.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 11/04/09 - 03:41 pm
0
0
Darn, where is Apex, WP, KSL,

Darn, where is Apex, WP, KSL, LOLAJEAN and the rest of the crew? Oh, I know why they are not commenting.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 11/04/09 - 08:39 pm
0
0
The cases may not be

The cases may not be 'related,' but it sure says something about the lack of dedication teachers used to have. For too many, teaching is a great paycheck--and to heck with your children. I have no faith in the school system because there are just too many teachers abusing children these days; it is not a local problem, but a national problem. People become angry when a student assaults a teacher--and maybe the abuse the teachers metes out is the reason.

Carefree
0
Points
Carefree 11/04/09 - 10:16 pm
0
0
They all are sleeping with

They all are sleeping with students. So are the teachers at Midland Valley. I know they've been doing it since i went through those schools back in the 90's. If anyone of them touched my child lord help them. When i was at Midland Valley the coaches and police officers that were suppose to protect the students at friday night football games were to busy looking for fresh meat for after the games.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Daniel Field removes trees, lights structures in airspace

Daniel Field, managed by operations company Augusta Aviation, has spent more than $30,000 conducting land surveys, removing 30 trees and installing red blinking lights on top of the Newman Tennis ...
Search Augusta jobs