The indictment alleges that Terence Tarpley, 34, of Marietta, had sexual intercourse off campus with an adult female student who was enrolled at McEachern.
The alleged encounter occurred in January 2012 but was not reported to the school until June 2012, Cobb Police spokesman Mike Bowman told the Journal last year at the time of the arrest. The school reported the allegations to authorities immediately, Bowman said.
Even though the McEachern student was not a minor and the sex was apparently consensual, that doesn’t mean Tarpley was innocent under Georgia’s tough laws governing teacher-student relationships. Teachers can still be charged with felony crimes if they have consensual sex with adult students.
Under Georgia law, a teacher, principal, assistant principal, or other administrator of any school commits sexual assault when they engage in sexual contact with any person whom the supervisor knew or should have known was enrolled at their school.
The law does not allow for consent of the student as a defense, unless the two are married.
If convicted, Tarpley could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in prison and fined $100,000.
Assistant District Attorney Chuck Boring is prosecuting this case for Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds’ office. The case is assigned to Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green.
An arraignment date has not been set, and Tarpley has been free since he posted a $5,000 bond shortly after his arrest. He is represented by Atlanta attorney Ash Joshi.