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Teacher charged with molestation bound over

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

The case of a Dekalb County middle school teacher charged with molesting a teenage girl in Clayton County was bound over to Superior Court Thursday.

Magistrate Court Judge Bobby Simmons also set bond at $35,000 for Charles McClendon, 29, during the preliminary hearing.

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 July 16, when an officer came upon McClendon's pick-up truck, which was parked behind the El Tarasco Mexican Restaurant, located at 121 Jonesboro Road, according to a police report.

"He said he picked up his girlfriend and they were there for the purpose of having sex," Jonesboro Police Officer Eric Bradshaw testified on the stand Thursday during the hearing.

Bradshaw testified that McClendon admitted to him that he had fondled the teenager. "He said that he threw the condom on the floor, and we did find an open condom on the floor," Bradshaw said on the stand.

The officer said the girl initially told him she was 18, but he later determined that she was 15.

McClendon's attorney, Keith Adams, had said earlier that the teenager also led his client to believe that she was 18 years of age.

However, Bradshaw testified that, "He [McClendon] went into how he was sorry, and he thought she was 17."

Bradshaw said McClendon told police he met the girl at the school where he worked.

"She was a student there [Stone Mountain Middle School], and he was a teacher there, and at some point, their paths crossed," said Clayton County Executive Assistant District Attorney Jason Green, following the hearing.

Green said the district attorney's office will now prepare the case for the grand jury.