03/03/09 — Former teacher in court on charge

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Former teacher in court on charge

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 3, 2009 1:46 PM

A former Mount Olive Middle School teacher facing a sexually related charge with a former student made his first appearance in court Monday.

In a short appearance before a District Court judge, former keyboarding instructor Jerry Dortch was represented by local attorney Geoffrey Hulse.

After the court appearance, Hulse said further comment about the situation would have to wait for court proceedings.

"We don't have anything to say right now. He did turn himself in. They asked him to be there, and we were there when they asked us to be there," Hulse said.

The former teacher has an unsecured bond in exchange for agreeing to not have contact with the alleged victim.

"The judge ordered him not to contact the victim in any way, and that's what he (Dortch) will be doing as this thing works its way through the system," Hulse said.

The one count of indecent liberties is a Class F felony, punishable by one-and-a- half to four years in jail, depending on the circumstances.

Indecent liberties with a child is when a legal adult "willfully takes or attempts to take any immoral, improper or indecent liberties with any child under the age of 16 years for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire," according to state law.

Dortch officially resigned from public school work Feb. 19, said Ken Derksen, Wayne County Schools' public information officer.

Mount Olive police said in late February they had received a complaint about the teacher from the family of a female student.

Dortch served with the school system from 1999 and joined the staff of Mount Olive Middle School in July 2003, according to school records.