A DeKalb County Schools teacher was arrested on Feb. 28, charged with statutory rape.
Almarcus Dewayne Thomas, 42, of Lithonia, was arrested by DeKalb County School System’s police and charged with three counts each of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and one count each of sexual exploitation of a child and sexual assault against person in custody.
The charges stem from incidents between March and August 2011.
The DeKalb County Police Department charged Thomas with statutory rape, child molestation and unlawful surveillance for incidents between February and September 2011, according to an incident report.
The alleged victim was a student at Tucker Middle School where Thomas was the seventh grade math department leader.
According the DeKalb Police report, the 15-year-old female’s father reported the incident at 3 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2011. Thomas was arrested two months later.
“It took some time to investigate,” said Mekka Parish, DeKalb County Police spokeswoman.
Members of the DeKalb Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit found nude pictures believed to be of the victim on Thomas’ school computer, Parish said.
Thomas is also accused of taking pictures up the skirt of another victim, Parish said.
In a letter to parents of Tucker Middle School students, school principal Kathy Cunningham said the school “first became aware of the allegations in January 2012.”
“At that time, the teacher was immediately removed and has not been in the classroom since,” Cunningham wrote.
Cunningham said the “disheartening information” was communicated to teachers after the arrest “to make them aware of the situation and to ensure they remain vigilant throughout the year in enforcing all safety and emergency protocols.”
“We want you to know that this is an isolated incident and that safety continues to be paramount at Tucker Middle School,” Cunningham wrote. “Your children’s safety is our greatest concern. It always has been and will continue to be so.”
In a cached copy of the Tucker Middle School website, Thomas states that he graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta, before earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Georgia Southern University and master’s degree at Mercer University.
“I enjoy working with my students and watching them learn and become successful,” Thomas stated.
Thomas appeared before a magistrate judge on March 1 and was ordered held without bond.
According to Thomas’ personnel file obtained by The Champion, Thomas began working for the school system in November 2004 as a paraprofessional at Bethune Middle School.
Thomas taught at Tucker Middle from 2005 until being placed on administrative leave in January.