Former Harlem High School Junior ROTC teacher arrested on charge of sex with student, 17

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:32 PM
Last updated 7:44 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

A former Harlem High School Junior ROTC teacher accused of having sex with a student was arrested Wednesday.

Mitchell Sivas  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Mitchell Sivas

Mitchell Sivas, 57, was charged with sexual assault against a person in custody after his attorney brought him to the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center about 2:30 p.m., Thomson Police Chief Joe Nelson said.

Sivas resigned as Harlem’s Junior ROTC instructor on March 4 when confronted about his relationship with a 17-year-old senior at the school. When asked the previous day by Thomson police whether sexual activity between the two had occurred, he denied it.

The student gave at least three statements that said the two had engaged in sex on more than one occasion, Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris has said.

After Sivas’ resignation, Thomson authorities initially said they would not pursue charges and deferred prosecution to Columbia County.

Nelson soon asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for help with the investigation because of the “multijurisdictional” nature of the allegations against Sivas.

The sexual activity reportedly occurred at Sivas’ house in Thomson.

“The case was thoroughly investigated by the Thomson Police Department in connection with the GBI,” Nelson said Wednesday.

According to Georgia law, sex between a teacher and a student who attends the same school constitutes sexual assault, and the student’s consent cannot be used as a defense.

A person convicted under the law is subject to a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 25 years, and a fine of up to $100,000, or both, with harsher penalties for younger victims.

Sivas was released from the jail Wednesday after posting $10,000 bond, Nelson said.

“The case has been turned over to the District Attorney’s office for further prosecution,” he said.

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Sweet son
9649
Points
Sweet son 04/11/12 - 08:15 pm
4
1
It is amazing how many of

It is amazing how many of these teacher/student sexual relationships that we are seeing in the news. I am not dumb enough to think that this is a new thing but I guess the students feel more comfortable with reporting them. Maybe students are getting caught by parents but I hope that they feel more inclined to report the activity!

debbiep38
378
Points
debbiep38 04/11/12 - 08:47 pm
0
1
I feel so much safer now.
Unpublished

I feel so much safer now.

a different drum
26
Points
a different drum 04/11/12 - 10:57 pm
4
4
She was a 18 -- he quit his

She was a 18 -- he quit his job. Should be a done deal.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 04/12/12 - 01:32 am
4
0
Sivas is a disgrace to his

Sivas is a disgrace to his uniform, to the U.S. Army and to the teaching profession.

tigerfan
0
Points
tigerfan 04/12/12 - 06:30 am
1
0
I don't know the man nor do I

I don't know the man nor do I know the student but don't you find it strange that the article went out of the way to NOT reveal the gender of the student? Never mentions "she" or "her" in the article ... hmmmmm.

meginlea
36
Points
meginlea 04/12/12 - 07:55 am
2
0
Actually, the original

Actually, the original article states that she was 17.

meginlea
36
Points
meginlea 04/12/12 - 07:56 am
2
0
And previous articles about

And previous articles about this story also mention that 'she' was a girl.

Little Lamb
43803
Points
Little Lamb 04/12/12 - 08:10 am
1
1
The law seems predicated on

The law seems predicated on the idea that the teacher/student relationship is akin to the jailer/prisoner relationship. That correlation has some validity when the student is younger than 16. But at age 16, the student not only has the legal right to consent to sexual relations, but also has the right to drop out of school. The jailer/prisoner analogy should not be used when the student is 16 years old or older.

The law is flawed, in my opinion.

Little Lamb
43803
Points
Little Lamb 04/12/12 - 08:13 am
0
1
Thomson police need also to

Thomson police need also to arrest the student for lying to them during an official interrogation. She told Thomson police that she did not have sexual relations with Sivas; but their arrest concludes that she did based on other evidence.

They could treat the crime as a minor juvenile offense, but she should pay some consequence for lying to police officers.

Dixieman
12798
Points
Dixieman 04/12/12 - 09:51 am
3
1
Little Lamb - But if she IS

Little Lamb - But if she IS in school and he is one of her teachers there are psychological forces at work that make this a good law.

ForeverFrog
1
Points
ForeverFrog 04/12/12 - 01:34 pm
2
0
Bout time!

Bout time!

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