• Comment

School hearing officer arrested

Posted: August 25, 2014 - 2:15pm  |  Updated: August 26, 2014 - 11:07pm
Padgett  Valerie Rowell
Valerie Rowell

A Columbia County School System employee was recently accused of not reporting allegations of child abuse.

John Leroy Padgett Jr., 52, is the school system hearing officer. He was arrested and charged with failure to report suspected child abuse on Aug. 22.

Superintendent Sandra Carraway said Padgett was put on administrative leave when the allegations were raised. School officials had planned to discuss Padgett’s at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

On Aug. 9, a 17-year-old girl told Columbia County deputies that Padgett had been molesting her since she was 15 with the most recent incident of abuse only a few days before.

The teen also said a family member had sexually abused her At the time, the teen said she got pregnant and had an abortion, according to the report.

Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said “her allegations are under investigation.”

Part of Padgett’s job is that he is legally required to report suspected child abuse.

“As a mandated reporter, he failed to report this sexual abuse, this molestation that occurred,” Morris said.

Padgett was released from the Columbia County Detention Center after posting a $1,000 bond, according to jailers.

  • Comment

Comments (2)

Little Lamb


I can see how a person in this position in a government-run school system could be required to report suspected abuse that he discovers during the course of performing his official work duties. But it seems a bit big-brotherish to require him to report stuff he discovers off duty.

Little Lamb

Two minors

I thought they changed the laws a few years ago to make Romeo & Juliette intercourse not a crime if both are underage. So how is it child abuse when an underage male has sex with an underage female, and the age difference between the two is a mere two years?