‘There are more victims,’ GBI says after ex-teacher charged with sexual assault

Robert Vandel is charged with rape, aggravated assault with the intent to rape, aggravated child molestation and other offenses in the alleged assault of a former student at Fulton Academy of Science and Technology, a Fulton County charter school.
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Robert Vandel is charged with rape, aggravated assault with the intent to rape, aggravated child molestation and other offenses in the alleged assault of a former student at Fulton Academy of Science and Technology, a Fulton County charter school.

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Roswell police have asked for the GBI’s help after their investigation into a sexual assault at a Fulton County charter school uncovered more potential victims.

Former science teacher Robert Vandel, 63, of Canton, was arrested last month on charges of raping child in early 2020. According to Roswell police, Vandel was employed by the Fulton Academy of Science and Technology (FAST) Charter School and the child, who was under the age of 14, was a student in his class at the time of the alleged assault.

ExploreFormer Roswell charter school teacher arrested, charged with rape of student

Vandel is facing multiple charges in that case, including rape, aggravated assault with intent to rape, and false imprisonment of a child under the age of 14. He was taken into custody Sept. 3 at Lyndon Academy in Holly Springs, where he was employed until his arrest.

The GBI on Friday announced they were assisting Roswell with “identifying additional sexual assault victims in an ongoing criminal investigation.”

“Investigators believe that there are more victims in Holly Springs; Canton; Woodstock; Valdosta; Duluth; Savannah; Midland, Georgia; and Opelika, Alabama; and because of the multijurisdictional implications asked the GBI to assist in the efforts of locating these victims,” agency spokeswoman Nelly Miles said in a news release.

The investigation into the Roswell case began Aug. 31, when police received a report of a possible sexual assault at FAST, a public charter school that serves children from kindergarten through eighth grade. At the time of his arrest, Roswell police said they believed Vandel had other victims.

The agency was initially working with Holly Springs and the Cherokee County sheriff’s office to identify any local victims, but the GBI said Friday their investigation has led them to locations all across the state.

“All of the victims that have been identified so far were children under the age of 15 at the time of the incidents,” Miles said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Roswell Detective Cheryl Dickerson by email at cdickerson@roswellgov.com or call 770-640-4453.

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