WATKINSVILLE, Ga. - Authorities arrested a former assistant principal and teacher Friday on multiple counts of sexual assault and battery, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Agents arrested 34-year-old Ryan Rickard on Friday and charged him with sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority, sexual battery, and rape, according to the GBI. These charges were taken in three Georgia counties: Walton, Oconee, and Morgan.
Rickard was an assistant principal at Morgan County High School in Madison until he resigned earlier this year. Prior to that assignment, Rickard was a teacher at North Oconee High School in Watkinsville, a teacher and Athletic Director at Memorial Middle School in Conyers and a student teacher at Burke County High School, according to the GBI.
In a news release, the GBI said Rickard was previously under federal investigation for allegedly attempting to access child pornography online,
The GBI said that due to the investigation involving both federal and state crimes, the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crime Unit (CEACC) was requested by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to assist in the investigation.
Investigators said they identified three victims that were Rickard’s students while he was teaching.
GBI Special Agent in Charge, and Commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Debbie Garner said, “This type of cooperation and collaboration is invaluable in the effort to keep our children safe from predators who seek to harm them. This successful investigation was a partnership between all the agencies involved. We will continue to aggressively work together to protect our children.”
Rickard is currently in the Oconee County jail.
The GBI asks anyone with information to call the GBI CEACC Unit at 404-270-8870 or by email at Tips@gbi.ga.gov or HSI at 404-346-2300.
Officials are also asking parents to talk to their daughters to see whether they had any contact to Rickard in school.