Cops: Special needs parapro had sex with student

Kari Lynn Bryan

Kari Lynn Bryan

LAWRENCEVILLE — A paraprofessional at the Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett had sexual encounters with a 17-year-old student for nearly a year, police said.

Kari Lynn Bryan, 38, of Lawrenceville was arrested Friday and charged with sexual assault by a person with supervisory authority, a felony. Jail records show she was released the same day on $5,700 bond.

According to incident reports, a student at Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett — an innovative, nonprofit institution in Lawrenceville not affiliated with Gwinnett County Public Schools — told police that he and Bryan had had sex at her Lawrenceville home “approximately twenty times.”

Reports list the incident date from July 1, 2012 until May 11 of this year. Conversely, the student “admitted the two started dating back in October of last year ... and he ended the relationship approximately two weeks ago,” the initial report from Lawrenceville police said.

Bryan reportedly admitted having sex with the young man, who turned 17 in January — meaning he would have been 16 and underage when the alleged relationship started. The student’s cellphone contained “cruel texts” from Bryan “because of the break-up,” police said.

It was unclear why the student was ever at Bryan’s home. Principal Elinore Trotter told the Daily Post that Bryan had two children of her own enrolled at Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett and had worked there for about 18 months.

Further details were not immediately available. Attempts to reach Bryan were unsuccessful.

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.

Trotter stressed that her school was “taking great care” in protecting both the alleged victim and Bryan’s children.

“None of the accusations happened here at the school, they were all at (Bryan’s) home,” Trotter said. “And the minute the young man reported it, I reported it to the police and have since followed their instructions. (Bryan) was put on a leave of absence immediately and then, after she in fact was charged, she was fired.”

Bryan was a “facilitator” for Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett’s adult program, helping those students learn social and work skills, Trotter said.

“I can tell you that the staff is absolutely disgusted and sad,” Trotter said.

It was unclear if Bryan’s own children had been deprived by the Department of Family and Child Services. Court records showed Bryan filed for divorce from her husband earlier this month.

Bryan’s arrest was the second in less than two weeks charging a Gwinnett teacher with sexual assault of a student.

Thirty-three-year-old Thomas Grimshaw, a math teacher at Lawrenceville’s Mountain View High School, was arrested May 8 after school officials uncovered his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old senior. The girl, who spoke exclusively with the Daily Post, said she and Grimshaw had a months-long consensual relationship that was discovered when a photo of them laying in bed together “got sent around.”

Grimshaw was also fired and charged with sexual assault by a person with supervisory authority.

The Daily Post does not identify alleged victims of sexual crimes.

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