Teacher, 34, charged with child molestation

19-year-old former student accused of threatening teen victim

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

ST. MARYS, Ga. - A St. Mary's teacher was released from jail Tuesday after being locked up for sending explicit pictures of herself to a 15-year-old student. Amy Lee Cassada was arrested for what police describe as sending sexual images via text and under Georgia's law, sexual text message to a minor, is considered molestation of a minor.

Casseda is now facing charges of child molestation and electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors.

On May 28, officers received a report involving allegations of sexual activity between Cassada (pictured, right) and a 15-year-old student at the St. Marys Ombudsman School.

St. Marys Police Chief, Tim Hatch told Channel 4 Tuesday night that alleged suspicious behavior happened between Casseda and the student after private tutoring sessions were arranged between them.

They said multiple parties were interviewed during the investigation and several electronic devices were seized for further search.

"Through the investigation we did obtain cell phones from the complaining party as well as from the teacher. We had those forensically examined and did find evidence to support the claim," said Hatch.

During this time frame, another individual, 19-year-old John Ezzard, was arrested in connection to the investigation.

Police said Ezzard (pictured, left) was arrested for threatening the teen involved in this case a few days after the initial incident was reported. Ezzard was subsequently interviewed and confessed to the threats, police said.

In his interview, Ezzard disclosed he was also a former student of Cassada's and that over time he received sexual images from her as well, police said.

"I have no idea what the incentive was," said Hatch. "There is some sort of a history there."

"Between him and the victim?" asked Channel 4.

"Him and the woman; him and the teacher," Hatch responded.

"Initially the teacher was suspended and then after the arrest she was terminated," said Assistant Superintendent Arthur VanBlarcum. "They're certainly coming back to see if there were any red flags or things they could have picked up on. In talking to them, they found nothing there."

Cassada was not only a teacher at St. Marys Ombudsman, she also works for a private company that contracts with the Camden County School district. The assistant Superintendent of Camden County schools said the company and the district have never had a problem with teachers before and are doing their own investigation into the situation.

The St. Marys Police Department said it believes there are possibly other teens or students who were victimized by Cassada. Any other victims are encouraged to contact detectives at 912-882-4488.

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