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Former teacher sentenced to jail for assaulting pupil

LAWRENCEVILLE - A former Grayson High School teacher was sentenced Wednesday to 120 days in jail for locking a student in a classroom trailer and sexually assaulting her last December.

Marc Lancaster pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery and one count of sexual assault against a person in custody.

A Gwinnett Superior Court judge immediately sentenced Lancaster to five years probation, with the first 120 days to be served at the Gwinnett County Jail. He was taken into custody in the courtroom.

Lancaster will also be required to surrender his teaching license, pay a $1,500 fine and to avoid contact with the victim, said Assistant District Attorney Sabrina Nizam, who prosecuted the case.

He will be required to register as a sex offender for at least the duration of his probation, Nizam said.

The victim, a female Grayson student at the time of the assault, attended the hearing with both her parents. She told authorities Lancaster locked her in a trailer and began kissing and fondling her.

Lancaster was hired as a social studies teacher at the outset of the 2007-08 school year. He also coached Grayson's junior varsity football team and freshman baseball team last year.

Lancaster resigned Dec. 19 after the school district launched an investigation into the girl's claims. He was arrested two days later.

Drew Findling, Lancaster's defense attorney, said his client was sentenced under the first offender act, which means his record could be expunged if he satisfactorily completes the terms of his probation. Lancaster is married with a young son.

"His wife remains extremely supportive," Findling said.