A former Harlem High School JROTC instructor accused of having sex with a student will be in court in McDuffie County soon.
Mitchell Sivas’ case is now on the felony pretrial calendar for March 4. The case had been scheduled for September of last year in McDuffie County Superior Court, but was continued due to the illness of Sivas’ attorney, K. Emerson Gilliard.
Pretrial hearings are held to check the readiness for trial of the defense and prosecution, and during the hearings defendants typically are able to request a bench trial or proceed to a jury trial. If Sivas chooses a jury trial, the case could come before the court the week of March 18. If he waives his right to a jury trial, his case could come up in late June.
Sivas, a Thomson resident, resigned from Harlem High School last spring after he was confronted about his relationship with a then-17-year-old Harlem senior. He was charged in April 2012 with sexual assault of a person in custody, a charge that refers to any teacher who has sex with a student who attends the same school. The law does not allow the student’s consent as a defense.
The student has since graduated from Harlem. Sivas remains free on $10,000 bond.