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Bond denied for teacher accused of molestation

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

A Clayton County judge denied bond Friday for a DeKalb County middle school teacher arrested in Jonesboro for allegedly molesting a 15-year-old girl.

Magistrate Court Judge Richard Brown denied bond for Charles Thomas McClendon, 29, during a first-appearance hearing. Brown set a preliminary hearing for McClendon for July 23, saying the issue of bond will be addressed at that time.

McClendon, who is a math teacher at Stone Mountain Middle School in DeKalb County, is charged with child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

Jonesboro Police arrested him early Thursday morning, when an officer came upon his pick-up truck, which was parked behind the El Tarasco Mexican Restaurant, located at 121 Jonesboro Road, according to a police report.

When the officer approached McClendon's gold, 2005 Ford pick-up, McClendon and the girl were in the back seat of the truck, and appeared to be putting on clothes as the officer drove toward the vehicle, according to the report.

McClendon admitted to police that he had kissed and fondled the girl, and that he had taken out a condom to have sex with her when he noticed the police car coming toward them, the police report states.

The girl initially told police that she was 18, then admitted she was 15 years old, the report states. McClendon told police that he thought the girl was 17, according to the police report.

"I don't necessarily agree that everything in the police report is accurate," said Keith Adams, McClendon's attorney, following the court appearance Friday.

"We have every reason to believe that she held herself to be 18 years of age, not only to the police, but to Mr. McClendon as well," Adams said.

According to the police report, the girl told authorities that McClendon "was her [tutor] at Stone Mountain Middle School where she went last year."

"She advised that he taught her math, and that's how she knew him," the report states. "He [McClendon] said he did not tutor her, she was in another team at school and that she got his number from another teacher."

Adams said it's unclear how McClendon and the student met. "She was not a student of Mr. McClendon's," he said. "Whether or not she, in fact, was a student there [Stone Mountain Middle School] remains to be seen."

McClendon remains in the Clayton County Jail.