In the unanimous decision, the court ruled Kristin May, 35, had no obligation to report the 16-year-old female student had been abused.
“By the time May learned of the sexual abuse, (the girl) no longer was her student, no longer was enrolled in the school at which May taught and no longer was enrolled at any school in the same school system,” the ruling released Monday said. “Accordingly, May had no legal obligation to report the sexual abuse, and the trial court erred when it sustained the accusation.”
Barry W. Hixson, Cherokee chief assistant solicitor general, said the Supreme Court’s decision effectively ends the county’s prosecution of May. The Solicitor General’s Office was prosecuting the case because May’s charge of failing to report the abuse was a misdemeanor, not a felony, which the District Attorney’s Office handles.
May had yet to go to trial. She had been attempting to have her charge thrown out in Cherokee County Superior Court, but had not been successful.
May was an English teacher, employed by the Cherokee School District from 2003 to August 2011, when she was arrested, along with River Ridge High School’s former varsity wrestling coach, Robert Leslie Morrow, after police learned of the 2010 incident involving Morrow and the student, according to the school district.
The incident happened in Morrow’s car in a business complex within the River Park subdivision, off Highway 5 at Sixes Road, reports at the time said.
May was charged with one count of failing to report suspected child abuse, reports said. Morrow was charged with sexual assault by a person of authority, records showed.
Morrow, who was also a wrestling coach at the Woodstock school, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years on March 14.
As for May, the Georgia Supreme Court said it couldn’t “conceive any set of facts by which the state might prove that May, when she learned of the sexual abuse, was attending to (the girl) pursuant to her duties as a school teacher at River Ridge.”