Former teacher facing sexual assault charges in Oconee, Morgan and Walton counties

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Watkinsville, GA (July 6, 2018) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that former Morgan County High School teacher, Ryan Rickard, 34, has been arrested and charged with multiple sexual assault charges in three counties, including Walton County. Authorities are asking that any other victims that may be out there come forward.

Rickard was arrested on Friday, July 6, 2018, following a joint investigation by the GBI and Homeland Security Investigations and is charged with multiple counts of sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority, sexual battery, and one count of rape.  The charges were taken in the counties of Walton, Oconee and Morgan. Rickard had previously been under federal investigation for attempting to access child pornography online and HSI asked the GBI Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes United to assisted with the federal as well as state crimes.

“Child sexual abuse inflicts life-long mental and physical scars on its victims and the added abuse of power in this case makes the crime even more egregious,” Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta Nick Annan said in a press release announcing the arrest. “HSI is appreciative of its longstanding partnership with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in the fight against child sexual exploitation, and we are committed to continuing this important work with our federal, state and local partners to find and prosecute abusers while rescuing the victims of these terrible crimes.”

“This type of cooperation and collaboration is invaluable in the effort to keep our children safe from predators who seek to harm them,” Debbie Garner, GBI Special Agent in Charge, and Commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, said. “This successful investigation was a partnership between all the agencies involved. We will continue to aggressively work together to protect our children.”

The GBI report that Rickard was an assistant Principal at Morgan County High School in Madison, Ga. until he resigned in 2018. Prior to that, he was a teacher at North Oconee High School in Watkinsville and also was a teacher and athletic director at Memorial Middle School in Conyers. He was a student teacher at Burke County High School.

Agents have identified three (3) students that were victims of Rickard’s while he was teaching and believe that they could be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to call the GBI CEACC Unit at 404-270-8870 or by email at Tips@gbi.ga.gov or HSI at 404-346-2300.

Editor’s Note: An arrest or charge does not constitute a conviction.

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