Cops: DeKalb coach caught sexually assaulting student in classroom

Cedar Grove High Assistant Principal Ferran Johnson called over the radio for coach and paraprofessional Darrell Lake multiple times.

With no response, the assistant principal went to the room and found Lake, who was clothed, with a student who had her pants down, according to school police.

The alleged incident was revealed in a DeKalb County Schools police report released this week through an open records request by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Lake, who faces a sexual assault charge in the March 6 case, told police it wasn’t what it looked like.

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The 30-year-old said he had been in the room with the student, who is 18, when she pulled down her pants, according to the police report.

The student told a different version, in which Lake, who reportedly has coached football at the Ellenwood school, called her over and pulled her pants down.

The student also said Lake had contacted her outside of school “from time to time,” a charge Lake denied.

The student said Lake hadn’t touched her inappropriately.

Lake faces a charge of sexual assault against a person in custody, a common charge for school workers accused of inappropriate contact with students.

In Lake’s case, the report says the contact with the 18-year-old student was believed to be consensual. But under Georgia law, that doesn’t matter. 

Efforts to locate Lake for comment weren’t immediately successful Friday.

The school district said in a statement last week it was investigating.

“The matter is also under review by the district and we will respond appropriately,” the statement said. “The health and safety of our students and staff are always our top priorities, and we will continue to ensure that those priorities are met.”

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Channel 2's Liz Artz reports. (

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