Thomas Frederick Grimshaw
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Thomas Grimshaw, a math teacher at Lawrenceville's Mountain View High School, was arrested Wednesday, accused of having inappropriate contact with a student. Initial police reports were vague, saying only that the school's principal had begun "investigating a possible sexual assault incident" that occurred on campus.
The young woman in the case, though -- a 17-year-old senior at the school -- said she and 33-year-old Grimshaw had a months-long consensual relationship.
"I cried (when he was arrested)," the teen told the Daily Post on Friday. "I'm scared for him."
Grimshaw is being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Detention Center on one count of felony sexual assault. After being with Gwinnett County Public Schools since 2006, he resigned his post at Mountain View on Monday.
Arrest warrants for Grimshaw said he's married with two young children, ages 2 and 4, and that he "engaged in sexual contact" with the alleged victim at school between 6 and 7 a.m. on April 29.
The victim told the Daily Post that she and Grimshaw "were together for a few months" and that he taught her in a pair of classes. She said, via Facebook messages, that she and Grimshaw were still "together" when he got arrested.
Mountain View High School Principal Keith Chaney reportedly began looking into the relationship on May 3. The alleged victim said one specific photo of her and Grimshaw may have led to the investigation.
"A picture of us laying in bed got sent around," she said.
The Daily Post does not identify alleged victims of sexual crimes.
A report was made with the Department of Family and Child Services, as well as the Professional Standards Commission, after officials discovered the relationship, schools spokesman Jorge Quintana said. An incident report listed a CD containing video clips, text messages and pictures among the evidence collected.
The school system was otherwise mum on the situation.
"This criminal investigation is still open and I can't release any further information," Quintana said Friday.
Under Georgia law, sexual assault occurs when sexual acts involve a person "with supervisory or disciplinary authority" -- e.g. teachers, probation or parole officers, law enforcement officers, medical personnel and psychotherapists -- and a person under that authority.
Regardless of consent, criminal charges are brought.
"Consent of the victim shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this Code section," the law states.
A conviction would lead to a prison sentence anywhere between one and 25 years.