Investigators ‘sickened’ by alleged crimes of former Christian school coach
SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - A former substitute teacher and coach of Sumter Christian School (SCS) is facing 24 additional sex crime charges ten weeks after his initial arrest.
On March 25, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) began their investigation into Andre Girard Johnson, 54, after the SCS Administrator notified them of an inappropriate relationship.
According to the incident report, Johnson had been sexting a 13-year-old student under his authority since December 2022. Text messages presented by the victim indicated Johnson had pushed for a sexual encounter.
“An investigation was aggressively conducted and a few days later, Mr. Johnson was arrested and originally charged with criminal solicitation of a minor based on the preliminary information. The charge stood. The investigation continued,” said Randall Stewart, Major of Administration at the SCSO.
The SCS Administrator said Johnson was quickly terminated. The 54-year-old surrendered himself to SCSO and was later released on a $5,000 surety bond.
Maj. Stewart said Sheriff Anthony Dennis’ primary concern was the safety of every student at SCS as well as the surrounding community.
“A thorough investigation was conducted over many weeks verifying that there was only one student… and through the course of investigating the material, we were able to find a month’s worth of inappropriate conversations and solicitations,” continued Stewart.
In response to Johnson allegedly soliciting sex acts from the 13-year-old, he was charged with 11 counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
In response to Johnson allegedly requesting pictures from the student, he was charged with 10 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Additional charges include one count of assault and battery in the third degree for Johnson allegedly kissing the student and one count of disseminating obscene material to a minor for allegedly sending inappropriate pictures of himself.
Investigators were then able to establish what they saw as a pattern and charged Johnson with sex crimes involving another person who did not attend Sumter Christian High School.
“This was very difficult and painstaking and emotional for the investigator to go through these conversations and look at these pictures… behavior of this type is unexplainable. The sheriff has the same position as any other adult citizen in this community, this type of behavior is unacceptable,” said Stewart.
This week, Johnson surrendered himself and was subsequently transported to the SCSO Detention Center. He posted a $28,000 surety bond and was released on Tuesday.
Johnson is one of three Sumter County coaches charged with sex crimes involving a minor since Mid-March.
“It’s the three [coaches] that we’ve been made aware of. We would hope there were no more. But we would beg for any student that’s suffered from any kind of inappropriate conduct or communication with any person of authority… to approach a parent or guardian, someone they trust, and expose this,” concluded Stewart.
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