For three months, a metro Atlanta high school music teacher made lewd comments, sent sexual messages to a teenager via Snapchat and groped the boy’s genitals twice, according to a Henry County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
Authorities arrested former Woodland High School orchestra teacher Ryan Harvey, 24, at his home Sunday on multiple child sex crimes charges, including aggravated child molestation, sexual battery and solicitation of sodomy.
School officials said Harvey, who was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, resigned two weeks before his arrest. He was hired by the district in 2016.
Harvey remains in the Henry County jail without bond. His next court appearance is March 6.
The alleged victim told authorities the harassment began in September, but the Henry County School District was not notified of the allegations until November when an anonymous tipster sent two separate emails to school administrators and a school resource officer.
The teen was interviewed by a Henry County sheriff’s deputy Dec. 15.
The boy said Harvey told him in early September “you are the only 15-year-old that I would ever (expletive) with,” according to the report.
The teen said he thought the comment was odd, but dismissed it.
Harvey’s alleged advances escalated through October.
The teen said Harvey would occasionally send videos of him driving and playing videos on Snapchat, a mobile application used to send text, video and photo messages. They are available for only a short time before becoming inaccessible.
Harvey, the teen said, sent him a picture of a black screen with a blue heart with the caption: “Send Nudes,” according to the report. The alleged victim told police it was the first time he’d received that type of message from Harvey, who followed it with “that wasn’t for you.”
But moments later, according to the report, the teen received the same message from Harvey with a follow-up message reading: “this WAS for you.”
The teen alleged Harvey continued sexually harassing him, and on one occasion asked him to stay after school to “do the thing” as he made a lewd sexual gesture.
Authorities said that when Harvey learned the victim could lose his phone privileges, he blocked the teen on Snapchat and told him: “I’m sorry for blocking you on Snapchat. I just knew you were getting your phone taken, and I didn’t want any problems with your mom.”
In November, the teen said he received another message from Harvey via Snapchat. This time, authorities said the teacher sent a photo of himself from the thigh up, wearing only pink underwear with blue or black symbols on them. He was standing in his bathroom with beige walls and brown towels.
Later that month, according to the report, Harvey groped the teen twice.
The teen provided copies of the messages and Harvey’s Snapchat name to authorities, who searched the man’s home for his electronics. Harvey was not home at the time, but investigators said they recognized the bathroom described by the victim. Harvey’s parents told authorities their son was headed to Albany and likely took his electronics with him.
Henry County sheriff’s office Capt. Wendy Sanvidge said she did not have information as to why it took authorities nearly two months after the search to arrest Harvey.
School officials notified parents of the arrest in an email Sunday evening, Henry County Schools spokesman John Hardin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Hardin said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the criminal investigation, but said “at this point in time, our priority is providing support to the students.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.