Teacher Faces 7 Charges
Accused of Taking Indecent Liberties

By Rob Seal and Matt Deegan
Daily Progress
December 2, 2006

A Charlottesville High School teacher accused of taking indecent sexual liberties with students has been indicted on seven felony charges, authorities said Friday.

Jonathan Keith Spivey was a choir director at the school until this fall, and is a 19-year veteran of the city school system.

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Spivey on seven counts of custodial indecent liberties or custodial sexual abuse.

Three of the charges stem from verbal sexual propositions and four from sexual contact with a minor, according to Charlottesville police.

Spivey did not immediately return calls to his home Friday.

This fall, school officials brought concerns about Spivey to the Department of Social Services, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy J. Longo said Friday.

Spivey was placed on administrative leave from CHS, and city police began an investigation Sept. 21 that the chief characterized as "stressful" and "troubling."

Spivey's relationship to the alleged victims was "relative to student-teacher type of situations," Longo said.

Charlottesville Superintendent Rosa S. Atkins said she is unable to discuss the details of the case because of legal obligations related to personnel matters.

"But what we would like to do is assure you that we have fully cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so," she told reporters Friday. "Our students are our primary concern and their safety is of utmost importance to us."

There are "multiple" victims in the case, Longo said, but he did not specify how many, or over what time period the alleged incidents took place.

Authorities also did not disclose the ages or gender of the victims.

The also did not say whether the alleged acts took place on school property.

Neither Charlottesville Common-wealth's Attorney Dave Chapman nor city police would discuss details of the charges, citing the fact that Spivey has not yet been served with the indictments.

Atkins said that city school administrators are vigilant about whom they employ and how they act once in the division.

"When we hire our employees, they go through a full background check," she said, "and we have our administrators in the building who are certainly monitoring the instruction that is going on and the interactions that go on in our schools."

In addition to his teaching duties, Spivey was music director at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Charlottesville, where School Board Chairman Alvin Edwards is pastor. He did not immediately return phone calls Friday.

Spivey was ordained at the church in 1995, according to a biography of him posted on the Web site of a musical production for which he composed music.

Spivey is due in Charlottesville Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon.

He will remain free until that time, and a judge will determine Tuesday whether he is granted bond, Chapman said.

If convicted, Spivey could face up to five years in prison for each of the seven charges.


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