A closer look at the student sex cases against 4 Gwinnett teachers

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A closer look at the student sex cases against 4 Gwinnett teachers

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James Buckland, Julee Impara, Michael Appelbaum and Therese Gunn have all been arrested this school year on sex charges involving students. (Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office mug shots)

Since the start of this school year, four Gwinnett County educators have been arrested -- all accused of having some form of sexual conduct with a student or students

Each resigned amid their respective investigation or after criminal charges were filed.

Find below a breakdown of each case, including details about the allegations and status updates. In cases where the alleged sexual activity is believed to be consensual, teachers are charged under a Georgia law that prohibits sexual contact between someone with "supervisory authority" and someone under that authority.

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James Buckland, 43, Summerour Middle School

Arrested: Oct. 7, 2015

Charges: Sexual assault and sexual battery

The allegations: A 16-year-old Norcross High School student has accused Buckland, an instructor for Summerour's Junior Leadership Corps program, of touching her inappropriately when she was visiting Summerour on Sept. 15. 

The defense: Buckland's attorney has said the more serious charge against his client is legally flawed because under Georgia law, the student has to be enrolled in the school where the instructor teaches.

Status: Buckland remains in the Gwinnett County jail. He's scheduled to be in court May 27.

 

Julee Impara, 48, Mill Creek High School

Arrested: March 1, 2016

Charges: Sexual assault

The allegations: Gwinnett County police believe Impara, a language arts teacher at Mill Creek, had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student during the first few months of this school year.

The defense: Impara neither confirmed nor denied the allegations, school officials said.

Status: She was released on bail March 1 and surrendered her teaching certification. No future court dates have been sent, according to the district attorney's office.

 

Michael Appelbaum, 41, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology

Arrested: April 20, 2016

Charges: Sexual assault, two counts of child molestation and two counts of aggravated child molestation

The allegations: Appelbaum, a band instructor at the prestigious GSMST, is accused of having sexual relations with a female student on several occasions during the 2011-12 school year, and of inappropriately touching another student in 2013.

The defense: Appelbaum has denied all charges, according to his attorney.

Status: Appelbaum remains in the Gwinnett County jail, according to sheriff’s office records.

 

Therese Gunn, 53, South Gwinnett High School

Arrested: May 6, 2016

Charges: Sexual assault, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor

The allegations: Gwinnett County police believe Gunn had an ongoing sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student, engaging in sexual activity at the school, her home and Lenora Park. She's also accused of smoking marijuana with the student and two others.

The defense: It's unclear if Gunn has hired an attorney.

Status: Gunn bonded out of jail May 7. No future court dates have been set.

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