Suspect charged with sexual contact with student
A man who was considered an adult volunteer by the Demopolis City School System has been arrested on multiple charges related to sexual misconduct, including one count of having sexual contact with a student.
James Derrick Robertson, 52, of Gallion was arrested on Saturday, Feb. 18, by the Demopolis Police Department and charged with six counts of a “school employee distributing obscene materials to a student” and one count of “school employee having sexual contact with a student.”
According to a press release from the DPD, the department’s Criminal Investigations Division arrested Robertson following an investigation that was prompted by Demopolis school officials.
While the DCSS considers Robertson an adult volunteer, according to police he meets the definition of a school employee as defined in the Alabama Code of Criminal Law Section 13A-6-80(a).
According to Demopolis Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, Robertson was occasionally used to work the sound system during programs. Kallhoff could not confirm how long Robertson was used in that capacity at the school, but said it was “multiple years.”
“He was brought in for special programs at the high school as needed. It was not frequent; mainly for programs held in the auditorium,” Kallhoff said.
The charges against Robertson began when a student informed a school employee that “something may be going on,” according to the superintendent. That information worked its way from the teacher to the principal and then to the superintendent who informed law enforcement. Kallhoff said that string of communication — from student to law enforcement — all transpired very quickly on a Saturday.
Volunteer workers for the school system do undergo background checks, but Kallhoff said those checks cannot tell administrators everything about a person.
“We are going back through our records to make sure everyone who comes into contact with our students has a background check. We will look at every extracurricular activity and — whether it’s a teacher, booster, volunteer — to make sure those background checks are done. We are also reviewing our responsibilities and protocol with the Department of Human Resources,” Kallhoff said.
Law enforcement officials said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be added.
This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, March 1, print edition of the Demopolis Times.
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