Band director accused of sex abuse remains free on bond

48-year-old resigns, arrested on allegations dating back to early 2000s

McIntosh County Sheriff's Office booking photo of James Ray Clark Jr.
McIntosh County Sheriff's Office booking photo of James Ray Clark Jr.

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. – A Glynn County middle school band director arrested two weeks ago on allegations of sexual abuse dating back to the early 2000s appeared before a magistrate Tuesday and was allowed to remain free on bond.

James Ray Clark Jr., 48, is accused of aggravated child molestation and attempted statutory rape.  After evidence was presented at a preliminary hearing, the case was transferred to superior court to be scheduled for trial.

Clark has resigned from his teaching position.

Glynn County school officials said they were contacted by Darien police after a man contacted investigators there with allegations of sexual abuse by Clark that occurred in Loganville, which just east of Atlanta. Police said another person said they were sexually assaulted by Clark in the 1990s.

The first victim came forward after learning Clark (pictured in McIntosch County booking photo) was a band director in the Glynn County School System, officials said. He has been the band director at Jane Macon Middle School since 2004, and has also been the assistant band director at Brunswick High School.

He was confronted about the allegations, and when probable cause was developed, he resigned Tuesday and was arrested Wednesday on charges of child molestation and attempting to commit statutory rape, officials said.

Glynn County Schools spokesman Jim Weidhaas said there is no evidence there are any victims in the school system.

"Certainly, anytime there are allegations of impropriety it's investigated, and if turns up credible evidence, you go address the employee," Weidhaas said. "That employee chose to resign at that point."

The school district has a crisis team prepared to help students or parents. The district also hopes other people will step forward if they can help.

"People need to speak up, and by doing so, things can hopefully be prevented from happening in the future," Weidhaas said.