Walker Co. teacher resigns after sexual assault arrest - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Walker Co. teacher resigns after sexual assault arrest

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LAFAYETTE, GA. (WRCB) - Walker County Sheriff's deputies arrested Lafayette High School teacher Norm Hodge Friday on two counts of sexual assault by an authority figure.

His accuser is a 17-year-old student.

Norm Hodge has since bonded out of jail on $5,000, but Channel 3 is learning a little more about the details of the allegations and what penalties he could face if convicted.

Social Studies teacher and golf coach Norm Hodge was not at Lafayette High School Monday and doesn't plan to return.

Parents and grandparents say that's a relief.

"Makes me feel better finding out about it and he's done resigned and he's not there with the kids now," grandparent, Charles Holmes says.

Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines released a statement, saying once the student notified the school of the allegations, "an immediate investigation ensued following the current school system protocols," and that "Mr. Norm Hodge resigned his position with the Walker County Schools and local authorities are now handling the situation."

"We had enough probable cause to make an arrest," Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson says.

Walker County Sheriff's deputies arrested him at the school Friday night, but would not give us any details of the evidence.

Sheriff Wilson says a 17-year-old female student claims Hodge sexually assaulted her twice in the last month to month and a half.

"The allegations are that the incidents happened on two separate occasions. They did not happen on school property and it did not happen during a school function," Sheriff Wilson says.

Despite being off school property and her being over the age of consent, which is 16 in Georgia, the fact that he's an authority figure, means harsher penalties if convicted: one to 25 years in prison, and/or a fine up to $100,000.

"Age, according to the way the law is written, that person under that authority cannot consent so age is not taken into effect here," Sheriff Wilson says.

The "authority figure" status in the Georgia law, applies not only to teachers, but many other professionals, including law enforcement, politicians, lawyers, psychologists, etc.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this developing story.


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