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30 days in jail for former teacher who bit girl on buttocks at Lanier
Man must also complete probation, community service, counseling
Jonathan William Herbert
Jonathan William Herbert

A Dacula man cannot teach and must avoid areas “where children congregate” for the term of his probation in a negotiated plea entered Dec. 4.

Jonathan William Herbert, who formerly worked for Gwinnett County Public Schools, entered a plea under the First Offender Act for battery, public drunkenness and bribery. He was previously accused of biting a 14-year-old girl’s buttocks July 4 at Lake Lanier, but the sexual battery charge was dismissed by the district attorney’s office.

The sentence was 30 days in confinement at the Hall County Detention Center followed by four years of probation, according to court documents.

According to the dismissal order by Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh and Chief Assistant District Attorney Wanda Vance, the girl was playing volleyball at Lake Lanier Islands when the incident occurred.

After speaking with the victim and her mother, the district attorney said “they would like to see the case resolved without requiring the juvenile to testify.”

“The state is therefore offering a plea offer to a felony resolution with a requirement that the defendant not teach for the term of probation, have no contact with the girl and complete counseling,” Darragh and Vance wrote.

The prosecution “has some concerns that the jury might nullify and return convictions on the other counts, but not the sexual battery” because the case varies from other sexual assault cases.

According to the indictment, Herbert was also accused of offering a deputy $200 “with the purpose of influencing him in the performance of his official duties.”

If Herbert completes the terms of his probation, the case will be discharged “without court adjudication of guilt,” according to court documents.

The additional terms of probation include 40 hours of community service, 2 12-Step meetings per week for four years, two drug screens per month for four years in addition to drug and alcohol treatment.

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