Police interview tape played This morning, jurors in the case viewed the girl's videotaped interview with police. During the interview, which lasted about 90 minutes, the girl detailed the alleged incidents with Groves. Yesterday, jurors heard from her in person.
Student testifies teacher chats led to 'sexual stuff' Ex-Woodstock educator on trial for assault charges By CHRIS REINOLDS Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer Students gravitated to the classroom of Woodstock High School coach Gene R. Groves for chats over doughnuts and orange juice before the school day started.
But one girl said the friendship eventually went too far when Groves fondled her.
"If I didn't go to class or lunch, I would stay in his room and talk to him," she testified Wednesday during Groves' trial.
"If I was late to class, he would write me a pass. We were just talking about family and stuff like that . . .
until it elevated up to sexual stuff." The girl, now 17, said Groves touched her inappropriately on two separate occasions during the 2000-01 school year.
She eventually confided in a female teacher, who also testified Wednesday.
Groves, 26, of Woodstock, faces sexual assault charges for allegedly having sex with one student and touching another.
He is one of three former teachers at the school investigated for inappropriate relationships with students.
Groves, Bradley L. Chapman and Richard Paul Adams II all resigned in spring 2001 and lost their Georgia teaching certificates.
The girl said that she had a crush on Groves but that the sexual touching, which happened during school hours, made her nervous and uncomfortable. She said she first met Groves when she was a freshman and he was a substitute teacher.
DeDe Williamson, a former Woodstock High teacher, testified that she was friends with the girl and tutored her as well as invited her to her house.
Williamson quit her job after she had a baby last year.
She said the teenager had told her about an inappropriate remark Groves made several months before police started their investigations.
After Chapman was arrested, Williamson asked the girl if there was anything going on with her and Groves. When the girl told her about the fondling incidents, Williamson told her to tell investigators immediately.
"It's sick, very sick. When you're a teacher, you say to society, 'We're going to protect you,' " Williamson testified, breaking into tears.
"They're just babies." Bert Love of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department described evidence collected from Groves' personal and school computer.
He said police retrieved e-mails and sexually explicit images from the computers.
Another teenager, who has said she had sex with Groves, is expected to testify today.
Chapman, 30, of Roswell, pleaded guilty in February to sexual assault and statutory rape of a girl then 15 and was sentenced to 10 years.
After serving a 60- to 120-day sentence, Chapman was eligible for house arrest and intensive probation.
Adams, 30, of Kingston, pleaded guilty in September to simple assault and reckless conduct involving a student.
Adams was put on probation for two years and fined $1,000.