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Bond denied for Statesboro High coach

Jeffrey Crowder is charged with sexual misconduct with a female student

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POSTED: June 4, 2014 11:08 a.m.
Statesboro Herald/

Jeffrey Tyler Crowder

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Bond was denied Tuesday for a Statesboro High School assistant coach charged with sexual misconduct with a female student.

Bulloch County Superior Court Judge William Woodrum expressed concern that Jeffrey Tyler Crowder, an assistant football and soccer coach, may try to contact victims involved in the case.

A police investigator testified Crowder admitted having sex with more than one teen and contacted teenage girls even after being confronted by Dr. Marty Waters, then the Statesboro High principal, about the accusations.

Crowder, 25, of Mike-Ann Drive, is charged with sexual assault by a person of authority, and more charges are expected as the investigation continues, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Daphne Totten said.

Statesboro police Detective Sgt. James Winskey took the stand during Crowder's preliminary hearing Tuesday, testifying that Crowder admitted to him having "hooked up" with at least two teenage female students on more than one occasion in his home.

Winskey told the court that police were investigating a separate case involving sexual misconduct by a high school coach with a different teenage female student April 24 when they learned of Crowder's involvement with a student, who was 16 at the time. Crowder was arrested at the school April 30.

He said one girl told investigators the affair with Crowder took place between Oct. 15 and Nov. 30, and they had sexual relations at least twice during that time.Statesboro High School faculty members learned of the alleged affair in March, and told Waters, whom Winskey said confronted Crowder about the accusations.

Crowder denied having any inappropriate contact with students, and Waters "told him he needed to be careful," Winskey said.

Waters' attorney, Daniel B. Snipes, could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon regarding Winskey's testimony.

Waters was arrested in May on charges he failed to report sexual abuse of a child in a timely manner. He resigned after Bulloch County Board of Education members voted not to renew his contract.

Winskey testified that Crowder admitted "hooking up" with one victim "three or four times," and said he contacted students via Twitter, text and Facebook. Crowder told investigators he met several teenage students at bars near the Georgia Southern University campus and entertained students in his home, Winskey said.

During the investigation, however, Crowder had said he did not want to comment about specific sexual encounters, Winskey testified. Crowder did admit during questioning that he also had sexual contact with a second female student "during and after" the time period in which he was involved with the first victim, Winskey said.

Police questioned seven female students who said they had all been inappropriately contacted by Crowder either in a social setting or via social media, as well as an eighth girl who graduated in 2013 who said she and Crowder had a sexual affair while she was a student, Winskey told the court.

During the investigation, Crowder "basically said he may have a problem" with "uncontrollable impulses" when he was around attractive females, Winskey testified.

When Crowder's attorney Troy Marsh questioned Winskey, the detective testified that Crowder was "worried" during the times he was involved with students, and that while he thought he may be fired if the illicit relationships were discovered, he felt that because he was a paraprofessional and not a certified teacher, he would not be charged with a crime.

Immediately following the preliminary hearing, Marsh called witnesses for a bond hearing. The court heard from parents of students supervised by Crowder, as well as his mother and sister. His mother, Pamela Crowder, testified that her son was assessed while in jail and possibly had "a problem with marijuana and drinking."

Totten, the prosecutor, expressed concern about a bond being granted, stating that Crowder's admitted problem with self-control around females, as well as his disregard for school board policy regarding socializing with students and his having contacted students even after Waters' warning him to " be careful" were reasons for denial of bond.

In spite of Marsh sharing Crowder's history of academic and athletic accomplishments and telling the court that Crowder would be staying with his family in Columbus until his trial, Woodrum denied bond. The case is bound over for the grand jury, which will convene June 24.

Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

 

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