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Athens special-ed teacher indicted

By Joe Johnson

A Clarke County grand jury last week indicted an Athens public school teacher for allegedly sexually assaulting a student.

Quinnesha Sha’Tara Turner, 24, was charged with aggravated child molestation, soliciting a minor for indecent purposes and sexual assault of a student, according to the indictment that was filed May 28 in Clarke County Superior Court.

When arrested May 11, Turner was a science special education teacher at Hilsman Middle School, according to Mary Walsh Wickwire, spokesperson for the Clarke County School District.

Quinnesha Sha’Tara Turner

The indictment alleges that Turner had sexual relations with the student at Turner’s home in Watkinsville.

The student’s gender was not noted in the indictment an Athens-Clarke County police did not release the gender and other details of the case.

The indictment only identifies the student as being under 16 years old.

Turner’s defense attorney Ryan Swingle declined to comment about the accusations against his client.

“Que Turner is a solid person, athlete and citizen,” Swingle said on Tuesday.

“She’s worked incredibly hard throughout her athletic and academic career,” Swingle said. “She would never intentionally hurt a child.”

The attorney said that as a student, Turner was a standout athlete at Cedar Shoals High School who went on to play basketball for Brenau University where she had a full-ride scholarship.

Following her arrest, Turner was released from the Clarke County Jail upon posting a $38,700 property bond, according to court records.

She is scheduled to be arraigned June 19.

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