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Strom Thurmond Teacher's Aide Charged for Sex with Student
posted January 24, 2013 - 8:51 pm
JOHNSTON – A 31-year-old
was arrested at Strom Thurmond Thursday and has been charged with
having sex with a student. Gamil Lamont Lopez, of Johnston, was
arrested at the school following a 6-week long investigation and booked
into custody at the Edgefield County Detention Center on a single count
of sexual battery with a student. The felony charge carries a 5-year
maximum sentence if convicted.
School officials were made aware of a possible inappropriate
relationship between Lopez and the student in early December and
contacted the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office, who took over the
An investigator met with the student and her mother and the student
denied the relationship. After a search warrant on the student's phone
showed numerous texts between the two during and after school hours,
the student admitted the relationship.
Lopez refused to speak with the investigator throughout the
Edgefield County School Superintendent Greg Anderson said that Lopez
worked as a Para-Professional at the high school and that following the
arrest Lopez, "has been suspended and will not be allowed on school
"We want to thank the Sheriff’s Office and the SRO at the school for
their thorough and professional investigation. We will not tolerate
this kind of behavior in the district. When we get the complete results
of the investigation, we will take the appropriate action which could
go as far as termination. We realize that the employee is innocent
until he is proven guilty," Anderson said.
Anderson said Lopez was hired in August of 2011 by the previous
administration. The School District is conducting an independent
investigation into the matter.
Lopez was still being held Thursday afternoon on a $5,000 bond,
according to jail officials.
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