A Supreme Court ruling in a Richmond County case has brought about a decision to drop sexual assault charges on a former Model High School basketball coach accused of having sexual contact with a student.

Daniel Lowell Brown was arrested in November 2008 on sexual assault charges after police said he was involved in a consensual teacher-student relationship.

But a June 2009 ruling in Chase v. State by the Georgia Supreme Court stated that a lower court erred in the trial of a teacher charged with having sex with a student by not considering if the relationship was consensual.

“The Chase decision affected cases like ours across the state,” said District Attorney Leigh Patterson. The high court’s ruling has caused DAs in many districts to drop charges they otherwise would not have, she said.

“The statute is, as designed at present, is so blatantly wrong,” she said. “I can’t even wrap my mind around it.”

However, state representatives plan to present a bill to the legislature to clarify the statute in the next legislative session, Patterson said.

There has not been an official decision made about the other ex-coach, Matthew Blanton, charged in the case as of Monday.

Both ex-coaches accepted the Floyd County School superintendent’s recommendation for immediate termination and gave up rights to a due process hearing before the school board.

Rome News Tribune

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