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Former Harlem High Junior ROTC instructor indicted on sex charge

Prison possible for ex-instructor of JROTC cadets

Monday, June 18, 2012 6:14 PM
Last updated 10:33 PM
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THOMSON — A McDuffie County grand jury indicted a former Harlem High School Junior ROTC instructor on a charge of having sex with a student.

Mitchell Sivas is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student.
Mitchell Sivas is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student.

Mitchell Sivas, 57, of Thomson, was indicted Monday on the first day of presentments by the grand jury on a charge of sexual assault by a person with disciplinary authority, according to records in McDuffie County Superior Court.

The indictment refers to the formal charge against any teacher who has sex with a student who attends the same school.

Sivas likely will be formally charged and arraigned in a hearing that could take place in mid-July, according to Superior Court Clerk Connie Cheatham.

Sivas, who resigned from Harlem High on March 4 when Principal Deitmar Perez confronted him about the relationship with the 17-year-old student, was charged April 11 and currently is free on $10,000 bond.

The student has since graduated from Harlem.

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

However, officials with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said they lacked jurisdiction in the case because the acts took place outside the county.

Then-Thomson Police Chief Joe Nelson asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for help because of what he called the “multijurisdictional” nature of the allegations.

After initially denying that any sexual activity took place, the student later told investigators that she and Sivas had sex at his home in Thomson. Sivas then was arrested.

Nelson has since resigned from the Thomson Police Department.

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, no matter the student’s age.

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

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Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 06/19/12 - 12:38 am
An officer and a gentleman?

Sivas is an embarrassment to his uniform, to the US Army, to our nation and to our standards of civility.

David Parker
David Parker 06/19/12 - 08:30 am


Riverman1 06/19/12 - 03:46 pm
Future photos of him should

Future photos of him should not have him in uniform, nor a flag behind him.

christy7669 08/15/12 - 12:21 pm
John 8:7 7 They kept

John 8:7 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
The so called victim here gave three contradicting statements. So she is discredited herself as a valuable witness. Not to mention where is the statement the father gave? It doesn’t exist because nothing happen and your all wrong from believing such a thing. I deal as a agent myself with victims and then the other parties. Sometimes both parties need to receive punishment if they broke the regulations or law. But don’t punish one, when both were willing.
There are two sides of the story and you all should do as Paul said above in John 8:7.
In my opinion you’re all you're all hypocrites, bigots and racists.
He has almost dies on several occasions for this counties safely. He did not ask a senior, who by the way was not his student, to start approaching him. She pursued her, not he pursued her.
So unless you get the facts, keep your mouths shut and stop all the Gossip. He is innocent until proven guilty and you’re a bunch of judgmental bullies, that can’t tell me you never done anything wrong? Have you never made a bad judgment call?
Did you know the school principle and he did not even get along, that the school principle wanted him out. So the principle seized the opportunity for him to do so. You only hear what you want to hear and what the media wants and not the facts of the case.
So you can be as someone so plainly put it, “left behind, the day the lord returns” for passing judgment when it isn’t your position.

I hope he sues the pants of the Harlem high school principle and all the other websites and papers and news stations that put in up in uniform.

Based off of our Public Relations for the federal Gov't it is illegal to post such pictures, with out approval through a local military intallation. So when he is found not guilty, due to some teenage girl, who was dying for attention and ruined a wonderful mans reputaion. I pray that he seaks retrobutions on all those who slandered him and his reputation.

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