Ex-Henry orchestra teacher pleads guilty to molesting student, gets 18 years in prison

Ryan Harvey

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Ryan Harvey

A former Henry County orchestra teacher who molested one student and sent sexual photographs to two others was sentenced to 18 years in prison Wednesday.

Ryan Harvey, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault of a student, one count of aggravated child molestation, two counts of sexual battery on a child under 16 and three counts of electronically furnishing obscene material to minors.

The acts occurred in 2017 and involved 15- and 16-year-old students.

The former Woodland High School teacher was arrested last year after a 15-year-old boy accused him of groping him and asking him to “send nudes” via Snapchat, AJC.com previously reported.

For three months, Harvey sent sexual messages to the teen, according to a Henry County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

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A school district spokesman said Harvey was removed from the classroom after officials became aware of the allegations and a criminal investigation was launched.

Harvey, who had been with the district since 2016, was placed on administrative leave and resigned two weeks before his arrest.

MORE: Cops: Ex-teacher sent student lewd messages on Snapchat, groped him

According to the sheriff’s office report, the teacher made several sexual advances toward the teen. Then in November 2017, the student said he received a Snapchat message that included a photo of Harvey from the thigh up, wearing only pink underwear.

Harvey groped the teen twice later that month, the student told police. He provided them with copies of the messages and the teacher’s Snapchat name.

Harvey was handed a life sentence, with 18 years to serve in prison. He must also register as a sex offender and was ordered to have no contact with his victims.

“Mr. Harvey used his position as a teacher to prey upon students. The families of these victims trusted Harvey to educate and mentor their children, and instead he took advantage of them,” Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo said in a statement. “The victims and their families are satisfied that he will spend close to the next two decades in prison and that he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.”

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