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Strom Thurmond Teacher's Aide Charged for Sex with Student

web posted January 24, 2013 - 8:51 pm
JOHNSTON – A 31-year-old Teacher's Aide 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 investigation.

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 investigation.

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 grounds."

"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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