Cobb County teacher who sexually abused a student subject of ‘Betrayal’ podcast led by his ex-wife

The "Betrayal" podcast features former Atlanta teacher Spencer Herron's deceit and ultimate arrest for abusing a high school student. His ex-wife Jenifer Faison meets up with the student and other women who interacted with Spencer. GLASS

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The "Betrayal" podcast features former Atlanta teacher Spencer Herron's deceit and ultimate arrest for abusing a high school student. His ex-wife Jenifer Faison meets up with the student and other women who interacted with Spencer. GLASS

Jenifer Faison meets with the student her husband victimized.

Spencer Herron, on the surface, was the model, doting husband and a “teacher of the year” at Kell High School in East Cobb. He left his wife notes every day on the coffee pot before going to school. He volunteered for the National Guard. He supported her career.

But long-time Acworth resident Herron was also a serial cheater who ended up getting imprisoned for five years for sexually and emotionally victimizing a teenager girl at the school over a span of years. He lived a double life.

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Reality show producer and Acworth resident Jenifer Faison put together a podcast "Betrayal" about her ex-husband's secret life. Teacher Spencer Herron was sentenced to five years in prison for abusing a student at Kell High School.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Reality show producer and Acworth resident Jenifer Faison put together a podcast "Betrayal" about her ex-husband's secret life. Teacher Spencer Herron was sentenced to five years in prison for abusing a student at Kell High School.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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Reality show producer and Acworth resident Jenifer Faison put together a podcast "Betrayal" about her ex-husband's secret life. Teacher Spencer Herron was sentenced to five years in prison for abusing a student at Kell High School.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Jenifer Faison, his ex-wife, was gobsmacked. After seven years of marriage, she had no clue he was such a deceptive, depraved human being. She fell into a massive depression filled with guilt and regret.

But as a veteran reality show producer with credits like “Jersey Shore,” “Judge Judy” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” she picked herself up and decided to tell her story in an eight-episode podcast dubbed “Betrayal.” The first four episodes are available now.

“I have spent so much time telling other people’s stories,” Faison said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I couldn’t escape the fact this happened to me and there were other victims. Yet it was really intriguing. I thought this could be an educational cautionary tale.”

She wanted to find answers, incredulous how successful Herron was at fooling so many people.

Herron began meeting the young student surreptitiously in 2016, and they had sex on multiple occasions at the high school until 2018.

The student as a senior went to authorities about what had happened. In the third episode of “Betrayal,” she complimented the cops for treating her with empathy. Her information led to Herron’s arrest, which was big news at the time.

Faison had been college sweethearts with Herron, broke up with him, then reunited with him 20 years later. The arrest in 2018 was a shocker to Faison. When she got home, she found him shaking, super upset. He knew the cops were coming and admitted to her what he had done. Then the authorities carted him away.

“People ask all the time,” Faison said. “I didn’t see any signs. He was coming home to me. He seemed like the perfect husband for seven years.” She so implicitly trusted him, she never checked his phone or emails.

He was also well liked in Acworth and at school, where he was named “teacher of the year.”

“Her reality was shattered,” said Andrea Gunning, the host of the podcast who also produced “Confronting: O.J. Simpson.” “It’s such a visceral and neurological response.”

For Gunning, the entire story “was kind of unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. He acted so proud he was married to Jen. He’d say, ‘That’s my wife!’”

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According to police, 48-year-old Spencer Herron was arrested at his home on Northside Drive in Acworth in 2018. (Photo: WSBTV.com)

According to police, 48-year-old Spencer Herron was arrested at his home on Northside Drive in Acworth in 2018. (Photo: WSBTV.com)

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According to police, 48-year-old Spencer Herron was arrested at his home on Northside Drive in Acworth in 2018. (Photo: WSBTV.com)

But two days after Herron was arrested, Faison decided to check his personal correspondence in hopes of finding evidence that would help his case. Instead, she discovered his secret life. From the time they got married, he had multiple lovers, sex partners and prostitutes. She found emails, nude photos, videos and text exchanges with other women that went back many years. He saved them all.

Faison even knew two of the women. She and Herron had owned a wine bar in Acworth, which was a big part of their social life. Unbeknownst to her, “he used it as his brothel,” Faison said in the second episode.

She reached out to many of his former lovers. Some were willing to talk to her.

“We were able to humanize some of the victims,” Faison said. “He assaulted other women who were sucked into his predatory behavior.”

At the same time, speaking to them helped Faison’s own sense of self worth: “I was able to see his patterns were consistent with all these other women. It wasn’t my fault.”

The woman who reported Herron to the authorities is now in college. Faison spent a long period of time talking with her as well, covering the entirety of episode three. It was painful, revelatory and freeing all at the same time, she said.

“We didn’t shame each other,” she said. “We didn’t blame each other.”

The student felt Cobb County school authorities made her feel like she was in the wrong. She also saw major flaws in the way after-school clubs operated that allowed Herron to prey on her. She has since sued the school system.

“The school district has worked closely with police on the investigation in question and actively engages with parents and students on any topic which threatens student safety,” the school system said in a statement provided to the AJC. “We cannot comment about ongoing litigation and do employ a variety of industry-leading initiatives to keep kids safe including the Vector Alert tip line, ‘We Keep Each Other Safe’ training, and the ‘Concerned Cops’ mentor program. The district’s 65 highly-trained police officers are committed to the safety of students and staff at every school, every day.”

Faison said the podcast also made her realize she had to focus on her own journey: “By the end of this, I realized I can’t save him.”

Surprisingly, Herron didn’t completely undermine Faison’s faith in others. “It’s my nature to trust people,” she said. “I don’t want to let that go because of Spencer’s behavior.”

She even dated someone else for a few months. “It was really nice,” she said, “just to be reminded of how fun a relationship can be. There is always that potential to fall in love.”

WHERE TO HEAR IT

“Betrayal” podcast is distributed by the Atlanta-based iHeartPodcast Network but is available on all major podcast platforms.