A former Gwinnett County band director who has been charged with 20 counts of sexual assault had a relationship with a student in North Carolina that resulted in a child, Assistant District Attorney Matt Acuff said Thursday.
Villie Jones, 44, was denied bond after a Thursday hearing. The sexual assault charges, as well as one charge of child molestation, stem from alleged sexual relationships that Jones had with four South Gwinnett High School students. All of the students were female members of the school band, which he directed. Jones has admitted the sexual relationships on video, Acuff said.
In asking that bond be denied, Acuff cited the child that Jones had with a former student. Jones began a sexual relationship with the student 10 years ago, when she was a sophomore at a school in North Carolina where he taught, Acuff said. The relationship continued through the student’s high school career, and she had Jones’ baby at the age of 21, Acuff said.
“There is reason to suggest that he’s been up to this behavior for about a decade,” Acuff said.
Jones’ sister, Velandria Jones, said that she knew the child’s mother had been a student when the relationship began. Velandria Jones was one of five people who asked for Jones to be released on bond.
Judge Warren Davis denied bond because he was concerned Jones could commit another crime and because Jones could contact any of the four alleged victims, even though he would be barred from doing so. The fact that Jones had fathered a child with a former student led Davis to believe that pursuing sex with students was a “long-rooted” pattern that “goes back years,” Davis said.
“My experience is people don’t really change. They are who they are. When you’re dealing with issues such as relationships, sex drive, other things like that, that doesn’t change at all,” Davis said. “When I look at that and I balance that … I do find that the allegations and the pattern would cause a concern to the community.”
Acuff expressed concern for the victims’ vulnerability if Jones were to be released on bond. Jones allegedly ignored directions to not spend time alone with one of the victims because she had mental health issues. Another alleged victim referred to Jones as her “boyfriend.”
“That speaks to the amount of manipulation he is capable of,” Acuff said.
If convicted of all charges, Jones would face a maximum sentence of 520 years in prison.
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