Bible teacher charged with child molestation -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bible teacher charged with child molestation

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(Source: Dougherty Co. jail) (Source: Dougherty Co. jail)

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  A Bible studies teacher at Sherwood Christian Academy in Albany is in jail, charged with child molestation. 35-year-old Shawn Baxley was arrested Monday, accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old female student nearly two years ago. 

As you can imagine, the news of a popular teacher and coach being arrested quickly spread across Sherwood Christian Academy and the community. The molestation reportedly happened in May 2008, but it came out Monday when the student told a friend, and the friend told school officials who immediately called in Sheriff's officials.

Captain Craig DoddDougherty County Sheriff's Office]Dr. Glen Schultz Sherwood Christian Academy headmaster]

Sheriff's Investigators say Baxley touched the then 13-year-old Sherwood Academy student at his home in the 2200 block of Whispering Pines Road.

"She was not a willing participant,"  Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigator Captain Craig Dodd said.

Officials say the teen never talked about the molestation, until yesterday, when she reached out to a friend.  "The child in question related this to another friend," Dodd said.  "And the friend, because she was having trouble dealing with it, and the friend then related it to school authorities, who then immediately contacted law enforcement."

Sherwood Christian Academy officials say they were shocked and shaken.  "We regret it," Headmaster Dr. Glen Schultz said.  "But at the same time we have got to put the needs of our students in first priority.  And we are making means to meet their needs."

Married and a father, Baxley taught math and Bible studies and coached sports at Sherwood Christian for three years.  Investigators say Baxley gave a full statement when questioned,  and was arrested, and school officials fired him immediately.

"We just are praying for Mr. Baxley and his family right now.  That's the best thing we can do," Schultz said.

Sherwood teachers counseled students today. "They know how to minister God's grace, when they face things.  And show them how God is still in control in everything."

Baxley is being held in the Dougherty County jail without bond. Sheriff's Investigators are now looking into Baxley's job history to see if he has  taught at other schools and if there are any other incidents in his past.

School officials want to assure their students and parents that the incident did not involve any school activity, and they have no plans to change policy.


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