ALBANY, GA (WALB) - We're learning new details about a former Dougherty County substitute teacher, now charged with sexual assault of a student, and how he was able to continue working in the district years after a student issued a complaint against him for sexual misconduct.
Having reviewed Rouse's employee file, WALB found school leaders at the time didn't have enough evidence to justify the first sexual misconduct allegations and because of it, he was never removed from the substitute list.
In 2013, Matthew Rouse was working as a substitute teacher at Monroe High School when a 10th grader claimed Rouse made inappropriate comments toward him.
According to the Dougherty County School System Police Department, a 15-year-old male student claimed Mr. Rouse "made a hissing sound to him."
The student also said there was a previous occasion when Rouse "rubbed his hand across his stomach when he was at his locker."
During the school's investigation, his employee file revealed Rouse "admitted to making physical contact but denied it was in any sexual way."
There was also no video footage of the incident.
School leaders at the time asked Rouse to leave Monroe High and not to return.
Rouse then took a three-year break.
He later returned to Lake Park Elementary as a Personal Aide and also filling in as a substitute at Dougherty High.
School leaders told us at the time of the allegations there wasn't a way to adequately track complaints.
In August 2013, the district began using a computerized substitute management system where teachers could find substitutes and flag their files.
Once they're flagged, the individual won't get contacted by the school district.
District officials believe Rouse was able to be rehired because that system was put in place after the allegations.
We reached out to the Dougherty County School System and they said they could not comment because of the ongoing criminal investigation into Rouse.
Rouse was released from the Dougherty County jail on a $7,500 bond back in May.
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