Spivey Freed on $50,000 Bond
Faces Child Sex Abuse Charges

By Rob Seal
Daily Progress [Virginia]
December 9, 2006

Authorities fingerprinted and photographed a former Charlottesville High School choir director Friday after he appeared in court on sexual abuse charges.

During a hearing, Albemarle Circuit Judge Paul M. Peatross approved a $50,000 property bond for 47-year-old Jonathan Keith Spivey, who put up his house as collateral.

On Nov. 30, a grand jury indicted Spivey on seven felony counts of custodial indecent liberties or custodial sexual abuse.

Spivey is a 19-year veteran of the city school system and was music director at Mt. Zion African Baptist Church.

According to the indictments, which were unsealed Friday, Spivey is accused of abusing or propositioning four teenagers over a span of seven years.

He is charged with:

- Two counts of sexually abusing a teenage boy. The indictments say one of the charges stems from alleged abuse that took place between August 1999 and June 2000. The other charge stems from between August 2000 and June 2001. The boy was 16 when the alleged abuse began.

- One count of sexually abusing a different boy between August 2004 and June 2005. He is also charged with making a sexual proposition to that boy. The alleged victim in those cases turned 17 that year.

- One count of making a sexual proposition to a third teen between January 2004 and December 2005.

- One count each of sexually propositioning and sexually abusing a 16-year-old on Sept. 18.

During the hearing, defense attorney David Franzen said his client is not a flight risk and that Spivey has "good character."

Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman did not dispute the bond.

"Our perspective is in light of his contacts with the community, he is not a flight risk," Chapman said in court.

Several church members attended Spivey's hearing Friday. Afterward, one man who described himself as a 25-year member of the church said he came to support Spivey.

"He's a good man," said the church member, who did not want his name printed. "And the best musician in Charlottesville."

While on bond, Spivey is allowed no contact with the alleged victims. He is also not allowed unsupervised contact with minors, including his own children.

Charlottesville police started investigating Spivey in September after school officials took concerns about him to the Department of Social Services.

He was put on administrative leave at the time, and has since resigned from the school system.

The bond hearing was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but it was delayed to Friday after Spivey was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment, authorities said.

A trial date will be set Dec. 18. If convicted, Spivey could face up to five years in prison for each of the seven charges.


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