A school administrator in Georgia who has spent more than two decades in her position has been charged with statutory rape, child molestation, and furnishing minors with alcohol following a Halloween party that allegedly took place a few weeks ago.
On November 9, Murray County Schools Superintendent Steve Loughridge contacted Sheriff Jimmy Davenport to investigate a complaint he had received from a parent, alleging that minors had been furnished with alcohol at a recent Halloween party.
Because the sheriff’s office provides resource officers to the school district, Davenport feared a conflict of interest. So he handed off the investigation to the Conasauga District Attorney’s Office. What the D.A.’s office found is quite disturbing.
According to reports, Rachelle Louise Terry, 43, of the Murray County School District attended a Halloween party with minor students whom she supplied with alcoholic beverages. Even worse, she allegedly had a sexual relationship with one of the students at the party as well.
The exact date and location of the party are both unknown.
The day before Thanksgiving, Terry — who lives in Chatsworth, Georgia, about 90 miles north of Atlanta — turned herself in to Murray County Jail on five counts of purchasing alcohol for minors and five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She has also been charged with child molestation and statutory rape.
The age of consent in Georgia is 16, and any sexual relationship between a school staff member and a student is generally illegal. However, Georgia law reportedly stipulates that, in order to violate that law with a student at least 16 years of age, school administrators or teachers must have “supervisory or disciplinary authority” over that student. The age of the alleged victims in this case and their connection to Terry remain unknown.
Terry, who is married, is listed as the director of federal programs and enrollment for MCSD. The Daily Mail reports that she has held the position for 22 years and earns approximately $110,000 a year.
District spokeswoman Derichia Lynch confirmed that Terry has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending further investigation.
“Because she is under contract, her leave must be with pay until a hearing can be conducted,” Lynch stated.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has also been apprised of the allegations and is asking for tips.