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Ex teacher jailed after indictment on 23 child sex counts

Derek Christopher Gray

Derek Christopher Gray

JONESBORO — A former Elite Scholars Academy teacher is behind bars at Clayton County Jail after his indictment on 23 charges involving child sex allegations.

Derek Christopher Gray, 29, of College Park was out on bond following his arrest in August but was re-arrested Thursday after being indicted on multiple charges of child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, statutory rape, aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery of a person under 16, sodomy and sexual assault on a person inside a hospital or institution.

Gray was teaching at Elite Scholars Academy at the time of the March 2013 allegations. Clayton County Public Schools spokesman Charles White said at the time that the system reacted in accordance with established policy.

“Allegations of inappropriate conduct were filed against Derek Gray in March 2013,” he said in a statement. “An investigation was immediately conducted by the school district. In keeping with the district’s standard procedure, Mr. Gray was removed from the classroom and all appropriate agencies were notified.”

White said Gray resigned in May 2013.

Elite Scholars Academy opened about four years ago as one of two charter schools in Clayton County. It was recognized last year as a 2012 Georgia School of Excellence — one of 14 top-performing schools in the state based on the College and Career-Ready Performance index.

Officials announced in 2013 that Elite Scholars was the highest-performing school in the 13th Congressional District, which includes Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton and Henry counties.

In indictments:

• Marcus Antonius Huff, 43, faces a single racketeering charge, known as RICO. Prosecutors allege Huff committed theft by deception three times by taking unspecified amounts of money from Wall Street Systems in 2009.

• Necole Yvonne Edmondson was charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault, possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, terroristic threats, giving a false name and criminal trespass.

Prosecutors allege Edmondson forced her way into an apartment at Parkside Crossing and stabbed Eddrick Houston Nov. 6 in the hand and stomach.

• Imari Omar Yarbrough faces two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Prosecutors allege Yarbrough let a child live in a home where marijuana was smoked and there was feces and trash on the floor March 27, 2013.

• Karl Janelle Smith was charged with first degree child cruelty and battery under the Family Violence Act in a Feb. 10, 2013, alleged incident. Prosecutors allege Smith hit a child and left bruises.

• Richard Key III was charged with cruelty to children in the first degree, battery under the Family Violence Act, battery, simple battery under Family Violence Act, and cruelty to children in the third degree.

Prosecutors said Key hit a child in the face in the presence of a child witness Dec. 6.

• Latoya Starshema Jones was indicted for false swearing. Prosecutors said Jones lied twice that a man sexually assaulted her July 6 in order to get a restraining order against him.

• Yumecia Latonia Tolbert was indicted for theft by conversion. Prosecutors said she rented a Dodge Charger from Enterprise and failed to return it on time.

All defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty.