Police: Ridgeland High School teacher's affair with student dates back to fall

Police: Ridgeland High School teacher's affair with student dates back to fall

June 6th, 2018 by Tyler Jett in Local Regional News

A sexual relationship between a Ridgeland High School teacher and a student lasted about 10 months, investigators say.

Rodney Dewayne Mann, 43, was arrested Monday on charges of sexual assault by an authority figure, possession of marijuana and possession of drug related items. The Walker County Sheriff's Office learned about the relationship between Mann and a 16-year-old female student on May 30, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Greg Ramey said.

Rodney Dewayne Mann is charged with sexual assault by an authority figure against a 16-year-old Ridgeland High School student.

Rodney Dewayne Mann is charged with sexual assault...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The next morning, Sheriff Steve Wilson asked the GBI to help with the case. They then received a search warrant and combed through Mann's LaFayette house. Wilson told Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines about the investigation around 7 p.m. on Thursday, Raines said.

Mann, a math teacher who also helped with the school's football and wrestling teams, resigned on Friday. He had worked for Walker County since the 2013-14 school year and came from the Chattooga County school system. Raines said administrators received no complaints about inappropriate behavior between Mann and students before his arrest. Ramey said he did not know of any previous criminal investigations against Mann.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed Monday by GBI Special Agent Daniel Nicholson, the illegal relationship lasted from October through Wednesday.

Ramey said Mann taught the girl when she was a freshman, but she was no longer his student. The sexual relationship did not unfold at the high school. Ramey declined to comment on how the sheriff's office learned about the relationship or whether Mann has admitted to having sex with the student. The student has said she had sex with Mann.

Ramey said investigators will search through any digital files on phones or social media accounts to find any further information about the relationship.

During the search of Mann's home, according to a GBI press release, officers found 4 grams of a green leafy substance. Walker County Detective Andy Cash field tested the substance, which tested positive for marijuana. Investigators said they also found pipes used to smoke the marijuana.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or tjett@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.