2019-01-16 / Front Page

Special ed teacher arrested for sexual battery


Travis Thomas Travis Thomas A coach and teacher for the Burke County School System has been arrested and placed on administrative leave following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Travis Thomas of Waynesboro was arrested Monday afternoon following complaints made to the Burke County Sheriff's Office. He has been charged with one count of felony sexual battery. Additional charges may be in the “immediate future” according to a report from the BCSO.

Thomas has been an employee of the local school system since 2011. He is a special education co-teacher at the high school and serves as the director of operations for the Bears varsity football team. He also coaches basketball at the middle school.

According to Chief Lewis Blanchard of the BCSO, the initial report was made directly to the sheriff's office.

“Upon opening the investigation, the school system immediately suspended

Thomas and cooperated fully with investigators,” he said. “The sheriff’s office and school system work diligently to ensure the safety and welfare of all students; we work together to make sure any complaint lodged is fully and properly investigated.”

Georgia law (OCGA 16-6-22.1) states that sexual battery has been committed when a person “intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person.” The code defines the term “intimate parts” as the “primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.”

While sexual battery is typically charged as a misdemeanor crime, those charged with sexual battery against a child under the age of 16 face felony punishment, and if found guilty, could serve up to five years in prison and no less than one year.

The victim has been identified as a male student under the age of 16.

Return to top