Ex-band director arrested

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Authorities arrested a former band director for Butler High School on Friday after two teenage students said the teacher had a prolonged sexual relationship with them.

Anthony Shelton had been under investigation by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office since May 1 after a student's mother filed a report claiming he had sex with her daughter when she was 15. Investigators say they have since uncovered allegations that Mr. Shelton made sexual advances to as many as six female students and that two girls had sexual intercourse with him in his school office.

By Friday afternoon, Mr. Shelton had been charged with two counts of child molestation and three counts of sexual assault against persons in custody, according to a sheriff's office news release.

Investigator Thelma Gilchrist said investigators anticipate additional charges after they interview more students who say they had contact with Mr. Shelton during his time as band director. However, investigators say they might never know the full scope of the case.

"You've got some females that are just not going to tell," Investigator Gilchrist said. "It's mostly fear of reprisals from the parents and embarrassment. These females are terrified."

In an interview with The Augusta Chronicle last week, Mr. Shelton denied the sexual assault allegations but admitted to allowing male and female band members to sleep at the school on at least two occasions.

A message left on his cell phone Friday was not immediately returned.

Incidents involving Mr. Shelton were first reported in an internal affairs investigation by the Richmond County school system, which examined accusations that he had made inappropriate comments to two female students. That investigation revealed members of the band would often call Mr. Shelton "daddy," according to the report. Mr. Shelton admitted this to investigators, saying he was also called "uncle," "godfather" and "pop."

"The kids that are in the band and surround the band say that I am more than just a teacher," Mr. Shelton said in a statement to the internal affairs office. "I'm the person they can come to when they can't turn to anyone else."

But many times, those who came to Mr. Shelton did so in the privacy of his office, according to the sheriff's office release.

Mr. Shelton is believed to have had sex with the two female students no less than nine times from September to December, the release states. Another student told investigators she came to his office to take a nap and awoke to find him fondling her breasts.

Mr. Shelton's office was equipped with cameras set up with a control system and a TV monitor, enabling an advance warning in the office of anyone approaching, according to Scott Richardson, the band director before Mr. Shelton. Mr. Richardson said Friday that he had been contacted by sheriff's Sgt. Richard Roundtree about the system, which he had installed.

"There were a lot of rumors that students were going in and having inappropriate relationships with each other," Mr. Richardson said. "I had it installed for the protection of the students and myself."

Mr. Richardson, who taught his successor how to use the equipment, said Mr. Shelton had black curtains installed to cover the office windows so he wouldn't be disturbed while he wrote music.

"What has happened does not reflect what is going on at Butler," Mr. Richardson said. "Just because this happened at Butler shouldn't give Butler a bad mark in the community."

Before starting at Butler High in August, Mr. Shelton was a volunteer assistant band leader at the Academy of Richmond County and Murphey Middle Charter School. He also regularly taught lessons out of his home, Investigator Gilchrist said.

The sheriff's office has not received any other allegations by Mr. Shelton's former students, but Investigator Gilchrist urged anyone who had inappropriate contact with him to alert police.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Investigators plan to continue interviewing students who have come forward with allegations against Mr. Shelton, Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Thelma Gilchrist says.

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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 05/10/08 - 03:29 am
0
0
How old is Anthony Shelton?

How old is Anthony Shelton? It's pretty unusual for this propensity for young girls to manifest itself "late in life". I wonder if he's left a trail. There's nothing good about teachers taking advantage of impressionable and vulnerable kids.

udontknowwholestory
0
Points
udontknowwholestory 05/10/08 - 04:19 am
0
0
PT...I'd like to apologize

PT...I'd like to apologize for talking to you the way I did yesterday. I was wrong, and I hope you'll forgive me. This is no joke, I just feel really awful for having been on your case for no reason. We don't have to talk or be friends, just know I'm sorry. I will copy and paste this in the morning sometime to make sure you receive it. Again, my apologies! iknewit
Posted by iknewit on Sat May 10, 2008 0:21 AM

tappat
1
Points
tappat 05/10/08 - 04:30 am
0
0
Mr Shelton is wrong if these

Mr Shelton is wrong if these allegations are true. As an instructor he should have not allowed certain things to have taken place such as calling him names other than Mr. Shelton. I can't understand why would someone would want to go to his office and take a nap? If a person doesn't feel well, go see the nurse or call home. Male teachers are not the only one who is being accused and caught up with inappropiate behavior, female teachers are as well. What else can be done in schools so no individual will be putting themselves in a compromising position whether it be a student or teacher? I am not blaming the victims or the accuser, no one actually knows the truth but the pupils and the teacher. Parents wants to feel safe about their children being in school getting a good education without being threaten or harmed in any way, also a real honest teacher wants to go home and not worry if they will be on TV the next day because of them having reprimanded a student according to the rules by an angry student . Right now it's just a bad situation with all who is involved. I hope the right decision will be made after all evidence are presented in a court of law...

Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 05/10/08 - 04:58 am
0
0
KUDOS to "iknewit" for being

KUDOS to "iknewit" for being big enough to admit a mistake!Some of our politicos and educrats should take heed.

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 05/10/08 - 05:47 am
0
0
Child molestors usually have

Child molestors usually have a trail of 100 plus victims by the time someone comes forward. They also often times work in an area where direct contact with children is part of their daily routine.

This case is no surprise to me at all....what would be surprising is if only 2 girls come forward as victims....

aug1
0
Points
aug1 05/10/08 - 06:17 am
0
0
let the truth be told. Mr.

let the truth be told. Mr. shelton was teaching without a degree. thats why the board fired him. they didnt want anybody to know . (he never finish college). Blame it on the RCBOE

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 05/10/08 - 06:20 am
0
0
There are some really good

There are some really good teachers without degrees. What Mr Shelton seems to lack is character and morals.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 05/10/08 - 06:56 am
0
0
The child molester is not a

The child molester is not a anomaly it is the norm of a people with the mindset of sex is natural and the kids are a natural hunting ground for these predators. There are thousands upon thousands of these molesters on record and thousands more who are hiding behind kindly faces all the while fulfilling their hateful evil passions on our little ones. That is downright horrific...I have no solution other than people are going to have to pay attention to everyone around them starting with the people in the family and then work out...We have to stop being afraid to point fingers, getting sued or just afraid of the consequences if we do talk...The only ones standing in the way of a molester just might be you or me...Pay attention, check on your children constantly, put the family unit back as a priority and pray to God always putting Him first... The one important thing a predator counts on is to instill fear in his or her victim...That's his power....Watch, pay attention, listen to the children...Give our children a chance at a childhood...

mahem1920
0
Points
mahem1920 05/10/08 - 07:02 am
0
0
PT, is that true, teachers

PT, is that true, teachers without degrees???? You are not referring to parapros, are you. I didn't know you could teach in public schools without a degree and certification.

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 05/10/08 - 07:09 am
0
0
PT...iknewit would like to

PT...iknewit would like to apologize for talking to you the way they did yesterday. They were wrong, and I hope you'll forgive them. This is no joke, They just feel really awful for having been on your case for no reason. Ya'll don't have to talk or be friends, just know they're sorry. They will copy and paste this in the morning sometime to make sure you receive it. Again, their apologies! 10-4!

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 05/10/08 - 07:17 am
0
0
Richmond 2007, you say blame

Richmond 2007, you say blame Shelton's sexual escapades on the RCBE. You are as imbecilic as Shelton is a perverted child molester & rapist. Where do you nuts come from anyway?

Freeman
0
Points
Freeman 05/10/08 - 07:52 am
0
0
Read this if you have any

Read this if you have any doubts about who and where the predators are:

http://www.childmolestationprevention.org/index.html

scooter32
48
Points
scooter32 05/10/08 - 08:22 am
0
0
to richmond 2007, how do you

to richmond 2007, how do you know for sure that shelton didn't have a degree? in my opinion whether he had a degree or not he still should not have allowed this to go on! he had a degree of responsibility as well. instead of using his head to protect himself in situations like this,he used his other head to get his self in a whole lot of trouble! now his career is over! for knowing ly doing wrong theres a steep price to pay! and on the other note, parents please talk to your daughters! tell them about things like this.it's embarassing for things like this to be going on in our schools! these young women are just to blame also. they are so hot in the butt, looking to date older men, and these crazy men fall for it. a quick piece of butt can cost you a lifetime of problems. think before you act! think about what you have to lose in life behind stuff like this! the young women need to be locked up as well!

Freeman
0
Points
Freeman 05/10/08 - 08:41 am
0
0
One phrase for all girls to

One phrase for all girls to use to ward off evil men. "Keep it in yer pants buster!"... comin from any age girl to a predator this would be enough to shock most of them away from going any farther. It would be a 'wake-up' call. Children need to heed the warning, "Beware of strangers," (and there is nothing stranger than a person who wants to molest a child)... "so keep yer hands off me, perverts!"

Freeman
0
Points
Freeman 05/10/08 - 08:44 am
0
0
It should be inappropriate

It should be inappropriate for an adult to touch any child without another adult being present... if it means protecting my child, I'll pay for the extra adult or be there myself...and all authority should be questioned in any case of child abuse...to winnow out the truth from everyone....

keysplease
4
Points
keysplease 05/10/08 - 08:49 am
0
0
Tappat, you are right. If

Tappat, you are right. If these accusations are the result of angry students (which I've heard is the case), Mr. Shelton set himself up for this. Having black curtains on your office windows is against board policy. It also looks pretty suspicious. If he needed that much privacy, he should have written his music at home. Teachers sometimes allow high school students to get too "chummy" with them and the students take advantage of this. I have an office, but I don't allow my students to hang out in there. Also, if I'm meeting students after school or during my planning period, I keep the classroom door open and my office door open. I've had male students try to get "fresh" with me, but I let them know pretty quickly that I don't tolerate that behavior. There is a line that students and teachers should never cross. I'm there to teach, mentor, counsel, and guide them; I'm not there to be their friend. I indeed hope these allegations are not true and that it was just bad judgment on his part. However, if they are, then he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Freeman
0
Points
Freeman 05/10/08 - 08:49 am
0
0
Children should never be

Children should never be alone with any adult without the child knowing what to watch for in the course of subtle predation, what to call alerts to, how to escape its clutches, and how to be bold and unafraid of reporting every thing the child has experienced to a reputable adult in law enforcement... children need to know, it is a far better loss of innocence to educate them about the dangers, than to let them find out and lose their innocence horribly and forever, to someone who betrayed their trust.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 05/10/08 - 08:53 am
0
0
How in the world can a band

How in the world can a band director, who is doing the job of a teacher, get a job in the system without a college degree? Surely there has to be a production of a copy of a degree or a transcript before anyone is hired as a teacher in the system. The principal has to know who is being hired for his/her school and then the BOE must approve that contract, given on a year to year basis in most systems. The BOE needs to give the public some reassurance that they are following procedures in hirings of teachers.

Freeman
0
Points
Freeman 05/10/08 - 09:34 am
0
0
Hey I have two Assoc degrees,

Hey I have two Assoc degrees, does that equal a Bachelor's? If that's so, I should be getting those salaries too.... I agree Dawg, no degree, no consideration or offers until I verify it with the transcript data.. then I can know the credentials are meeting standards.

griesella
0
Points
griesella 05/10/08 - 10:08 am
0
0
There could be several

There could be several "victims" who refuse to come forward because they were willing participants. Girls of the age mentioned are not all innocents. IMHO

Freeman
0
Points
Freeman 05/10/08 - 11:29 am
0
0
Perhaps it might be

Perhaps it might be considered that the 'victims' had already been 'victims' before and knew no better, innocence lost before this incident.. I am speculating it could be possible...

mable8
2
Points
mable8 05/10/08 - 12:12 pm
0
0
Tried, convicted, and

Tried, convicted, and hung--all without due process. Sure hope none of you ever gets into trouble because this may also be your fate, at which time you will cry "foul" "injustice" "racism" ad nauseum. No one has all the facts in this case; some of the alleged victim's story doesn't sound right and the second alleged victim seems to be a parrot. Rather than to condemn ths man at this point in time, I'd rather withhold judgment. IF the allegations prove to be true, then of course mete out the maximum sentence the law allows. As for spreading the rumor the man has no teaching credentials, before you pass that one around, check it out for accuracy. Shame on those who would pre-judge another, yet demand full justice for yourself.

madddhatter
0
Points
madddhatter 05/10/08 - 02:33 pm
0
0
It is true. There is a

It is true. There is a special exception in Georgia teacher certification that allows for a person in the fine arts (music) field to obtain a two- year teaching permit if they have 3 years of professional experience in the field of fine arts. Mr. Shelton, though he did not currently hold a degree at the time of his hire, had the three years of music experience through his work in the US. Army in the reserve band. He would be able to renew the permit only after completing his degree and passing all certification tests such as the GACE. However, now that will not happen.

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 05/10/08 - 03:12 pm
0
0
If an adult has authority

If an adult has authority over a student there is no such thing as the student being a "willing participant" ...it's total abuse of power and should be prosecuted to the fullest.

142
Points
Dan White 05/10/08 - 03:31 pm
0
0
It looks like Butler has

It looks like Butler has added a hands-on sex education class. The girls made all A's! Ahhh today's changing high school curriculum. Unthought of in my generation. I wonder if this counts towards credit for Butler to make AYP this year???

tdp
0
Points
tdp 05/10/08 - 03:57 pm
0
0
My mom is a teacher. She is

My mom is a teacher. She is of the opinion that some (not all) men become teachers just so they can have easy access to young girls. Parents need to teach their children about these sexual predators. I have already started teaching my 2 year old about them.

girlygirl
0
Points
girlygirl 05/10/08 - 04:05 pm
0
0
RCBOE fingerprints and runs

RCBOE fingerprints and runs background checks on all employees...or so they say. They are also supposed to verify degrees and certification, but when I was being hired, they lost my paperwork several times. I had to obtain numerous copies of my recommendations, test scores, and transcripts because they kept losing things! I almost said "Forget, it, I'll go work somewhere else!" Who knows what else they could lose? How many potential employees have gone to another district because of the negligence and nepotism at the Board? I know of a few at least. I hear Dr. Bedden is cleaning up downtown, and I think it's sorely needed. Some people pull strings to get their unqualified friends jobs ahead of people who are qualified. I'm lucky that I had a department head and a principal who stayed on it and really wanted to hire me because they had seen me teach and knew I was very qualified. Still, downtown tried to strong-arm me into doing the TAPP program even though I was already in school at ASU and had a 5-year temporary certificate from the state!! I would not be surprised if Mr. Shelton has friends down at the board.

griesella
0
Points
griesella 05/10/08 - 04:26 pm
0
0
If there are people here who

If there are people here who don't believe that a 16 year old could be a willing participant and even perhaps initiate the act, then you are living in la-la land. Some of these 16 year olds know more now than some of us older folks will ever know. (and some are much younger than 16) This is not to say that the accused has an excuse, just the facts.

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 05/10/08 - 04:41 pm
0
0
It doesn't matter what a 16

It doesn't matter what a 16 yr old knows...its what the law says...and does Ga law say an educator who has authority over another person is abusing that authority if having a sexual relationship with a student? Some states have this law and some do not.

madddhatter
0
Points
madddhatter 05/10/08 - 04:48 pm
0
0
Jillian, yes, there is such a

Jillian, yes, there is such a law. It is "having sexual relations under their charge. It is a felony. I think that because he is being charged with the child molestation, since all the girls were under the age of 16, that charge outweighs the "under his charge" offense. I am not a lawyer, so I can not state for sure. I am sure the D.A. will have final say in the official charges.

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